Trump’s Chaotic Management Style

Donald Trump’s White House – under the strong influence of tear-the-government-down agitator Steve Bannon – is doing exactly that with a chaotic policy style, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

By Paul R. Pillar

The fiasco of President Trump’s executive order involving travel bans from selected Muslim-majority countries has consumed public attention for several days, although it was only one of several actions that have constituted the most disorganized and strife-laden opening ten days of any U.S. administration in memory.

Steve Bannon, adviser to President Donald Trump. (Photo from YouTube)

This order deserves the vigorous criticism it has received on several grounds, but it is important to note how such a badly drafted document ever made it under the presidential pen in the first place. Reportedly it was the product of a small circle of political advisers surrounding Trump, with amazingly little input or review from any other parts of the government, including those parts responsible for implementing the order.

Not only were the responsible portions of the bureaucracy excluded; so were Trump’s own cabinet appointees. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, whose department is most directly involved in the implementation, was only halfway through receiving his first briefing on the new policy when the President signed the order.

Such an absence of an orderly policy-making process — an absence that has characterized not only the order about travel but several other of Trump’s early actions — is markedly at odds with what has long been the usual procedure leading to presidential decisions involving major initiatives or redirections of U.S. foreign and security policy.

With only minor variations, most such major policy decisions in past administrations have been preceded by lengthy review and discussion, at multiple levels, among all the departments and agencies with responsibilities bearing on the subject at hand.  Such review mostly takes place in interagency committees chaired by the National Security Council staff.

There are good and important reasons for such a process. Relevant realities that must be confronted, including political and diplomatic realities abroad, are best recognized and highlighted by those components of the government that have to deal with those realities every day or have a responsibility for monitoring them. All relevant U.S. interests and objectives that could be affected by a policy change need to be considered.

Diverse Input

Again, getting input from different departments and agencies that have specific responsibility for advancing different U.S. interests is the best way to ensure that all U.S. equities are taken into account. Then there are the potential unintended consequences and problems of interpretation and implementation that bedevil many major changes in policy. Having many different eyes, with different bureaucratic perspectives, being part of the review reduces the chance of overlooking such consequences and problems.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona. March 19, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The order on travel and immigration was clearly and badly deficient on all of these grounds. Other early orders from the Trump White House may not have had as much immediately disruptive effect but, absent a decent policy process, also are deficient in the same way, with their overlooked problems likely to surface later.

Another of the early Trump directives, involving NSC machinery, reflects an inclination to keep operating in the same way that produced the travel ban. Trump’s political adviser and chief ideologist Stephen Bannon, who reportedly played the biggest role in writing the travel order, has been given a permanent seat on the policymaking principals’ committee, even as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence are denied such seats. Such an arrangement is certainly not aimed at accomplishing the legitimate and important purposes of policy review as mentioned above.

Bannon proudly told an interviewer a couple of years ago, “I’m a Leninist,” explaining that “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too.”

One can already see Leninist tendencies in the Bannon-Trump White House, including with things like the handling of the anti-Muslim executive order. The Bolshevik leader installed what was called democratic centralism, with the “centralist” part being exceedingly tight control from the cabal at the top, and unquestioning obedience from everyone else. Other similarities between Petrograd 1917 and Washington 2017 can also be seen.

Probably we should focus most on Bannon’s own words in conveying his sense of Leninism. No, he won’t be able to destroy the state literally and send the United States into an anarchic state of nature. But he already has begun in effect to destroy it as far as policy formulation is concerned, with decisions coming out of the small band at the center.

As for the rest of the state, especially parts that include experienced and well-informed officials with relevant responsibilities, the response will be, “Fall in line, or leave.”

A Risky Model

The one instance in U.S. foreign policymaking since World War II that involved a major redirection that was run out of a White House vest pocket and excluded the normal policymaking machinery, and that in retrospect was successful, was Nixon and Kissinger’s opening to China in the early 1970s. One look at the personnel in corresponding positions in the current administration makes it immediately clear that this experience cannot be taken as a model.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

Mr. Bannon, you’re no Henry Kissinger. Neither are you, Mr. Flynn. (And Mr. Trump, you’re no Nixon, at least as far as acumen about foreign affairs is concerned.) Even Kissinger himself later said that his method of running foreign policy and gaming the bureaucracy was so bizarre and so dependent on his own unusual skill set that no one else should ever try to run foreign policy the same way.

There was one other big decision in recent times for which there was no policy process and no opportunity for the relevant departments and bureaucracies to weigh in. There never were, in this case, any meetings in the Situation Room or any options papers that ever considered whether the decision to be taken was a good idea. This was the decision to launch the Iraq War of 2003.

The Deputy Secretary of State at the time, Richard Armitage, later commented, “There was never any policy process to break, by Condi [Rice] or anyone else. There never was one from the start. Bush didn’t want one, for whatever reason.”

And we all know how well that one worked out.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.) 

 

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36 comments for “Trump’s Chaotic Management Style

  1. Bill Bodden
    January 31, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    The roller coaster is on its way. Buckle up. We may get more than we bargained for.

    • evelync
      January 31, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Bill Bodden:
      re: “We may get more than we bargained for.”

      Seems like it’s heading that way, for sure….
      But what we are not getting is a sense that our president has a message of Good Will for the people of this country or the rest of the world for that matter.

      As Paul Pillar describes it, they are apparently in over their heads, scrambling to make it look like they know what they are doing, but running around in circles like the Three Stooges and drawing fire from all sides.

      Cenk Uygar warned that in desperation Trump would most likely turn to scapegoating to blame others for his failings. Seems like Trump is losing no time focusing on attacking the most vulnerable.
      https://youtu.be/dDz1uL_ueko

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 1, 2017 at 1:00 am

        I’m beginning to wonder if whether Trump and Bannon had rush this new immigration vetting standard through expecting a public protest to get a pulse on the electorate, or out of some kind of egotistical expediency while ignoring the process to show the minions who the boss.

        Testing the water, to see how aware the public maybe, would make sense in order to get a bench mark for other executive orders to follow. What may have been a good week with Trump rattling the drug makers for lower prices, and his mentioning how he will honor the government workers LGBT existing rights which the gay community has won, without the immigration ban I would think that the public would have at least applauded him quietly, if not for a sigh of relief and well deserved toast to the king. So the funny thing for Trump and Bannon is that instead of praise they got the opposite of praise….the protest line starts here!

        The process could be awkward to a new outsider president to who has never had to exercise his talents being used inside of the massive government bureaucracy and with all that this process entails…now where is that executive operating manual? Oh, it says right here, if when implementing new policies and voters get a little cranky blame it on previous Administration, but if the public likes your new policy then and only then have a press conference in the East Room and baby take a bow, you earned it all by yourself now….thank you, thank you, hey ain’t I great for this country?

        On the other hand, Trump and Bannon could have said, screw it we’re doing it ‘My Way’. Blame it on Paul Anka, and Frank Sinatra… But it may have proved better for if this week Trump would have played Paul Anka’s ‘Puppy Love’.

        The one ray of hope in my mine, was this Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates….like when I was in school I always liked the substitute teacher, now it’s Sally Yates. At first I though what many thought, refusing to do what the boss tells you to do gets you fired, so be it. Then I heard how Ms Yates questioned Trump’s new policy directives to be implemented on the new immigrants coming into America, based on her interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, she had to say no. We need more people in our government, and military, to express their concern over constitutional observances of the enforcement of many of our current policies in place, and future policies to come. I wish a few high rankers in the Bush, and Obama, Adminstrations would have refused to just go along to get along…like when we decided to invade and overturn seven nations who never attacked us…I still can’t get over that!

        Trump and Bannon are going to keep busy with their making it a point to show these milk toast DCer’s how you get it done…still I picture somewhere in a basement room at a Washington suburban home a young lawyer with a legal assistance stacking up evidence for impeachment….exemption for persecuted Middle East Christians, conflict of interest for no barring entry to U.S. from Middle East countries Trump has business relations with, family members working at the White House by the pleasure of the presidents insistence, etc., etc…..the only ones who profit is the MSM which we all hate, so where’s the Greatness in that?

        • BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS
          February 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

          Joe J Tedesky,

          Once again, a GREAT comment. I think the Yates firing was quite funny: what did the blond Blueblood expect out of an administration put in office by Deplorables?

          Nice to be on the same comment page with you again. Have you finally read my Amazon Trump book?

          Cheers,

          Bart

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

            Yes Bart, I read it sometime ago….it was a fantastic book to read. Joe

        • evelync
          February 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

          Great comment, Joe.

          A friend of mine told me that a group of women traveling from Canada to attend the women’s march were turned back at the border by Homeland Security when they explained that the reason for their visit was to attend the protest.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

            Thanks for liking my comment. Those Canadian women didn’t know the American way, they should have lied.

            evelync, although you may have like my comment, as it turns out all the polls are suggesting that more Americans approve of Trump’s immigration ban, than disapprove. Now, you could point to how the pollsters were so terribly wrong about our going to elect our first woman president, or you could poll amongst your friends and inner circle, and possibly go with what you uncover within your own little world. Often this kind of polling works, and if by no other measure to reason with, you could go with in and say what not.

            Let’s face it, every American is sourcing their information from many different places to form their opinions, and yet we all end up squeezed into the same demographic the pollsters finally place us in for the sake to find an answer….it always comes down to the wording of the question coupled with the public’s average comprehension.

            Better said just reflect on why people voted, or not voted, for our last two presidential candidates. No one liked Hillary, but yet she won the popular vote, how is that? Likewise Trump was feared, and laughed at by many, but yet he won enough Electoral votes to win the White House. The equally big winner, was the no vote for president, so what’s that tell you? What is truly flabbergasting is that Trump’s landslide victory is where 46% of the voters is now the new overwhelming majority…figures never lie, but liars always figure.

            That tells me, like so many other things of what is going on in our modern day America, that we Americans are living inside of a broken government, and a house surely divided. The real problem is, is that no one seems to be addressing this division, but instead fences are being build to keep out the opposing view. I realize we can’t all agree on the same methods, or have the same priorities, but the divisions are so deep that I am now seriously worried about our society resorting to violence….and with that I will leave you by saying how regretful it has become.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          February 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          I agree with this view and, in light of the sacking of the holdover attorney general stand-in while Sessions’ ascension to the job is being delayed, I wonder if the difficulties in the order were as a result of bureaucratic sabotage as some are excusing it. It is also less than met the eye and was based in some sense on earlier Obama regime proposals. This may be why the Saudis, the chief purveyors, were not included. It may also be why Iran is included, though this appears to be a Trump blind-spot since it is Saudi Wahabi salafist views that are in support of “terrorism”. Though I can see problems from a rule of law view, I can see why, in light of what is happening in Germany, Sweden and elsewhere, that most actual people (not commentators supported by the power structure or those sympathetic with them, such as the author of the base article here) support some kind of action, even if half-cocked like this one. Had Trump included the Saudis in the edict, support would have been greater.

          Here in Canada, most people are highly opposed to the action, but the opposition is slightly hypocritical in that even in Trudeau’s somewhat grandstand support of taking in Syrian refugees, which has received plenty of propaganda support from media here, he was crafty enough to limit the refugee load to settled families, not single men more likely to offend sensibilities and create problems such as are occurring in Germany, Sweden and elsewhere. I also agree with those critical of war criminals responsible for the deaths of many of these people being vehemently critical to not allowing them into the US for 120 days. It is also interesting that blowback in Quebec from the traditional element was seen in the local guy going postal and yelling allah akbar as he committed mass murder at a Quebec mosque.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 1, 2017 at 3:21 pm

            Here is the problem exiled off mainstreet, since America declared war on the terrorist, this campaign of fear has evolved into a gigantic massive terror business, and it grows bigger by the day. In my opinion all these agencies efforts have failed us, at every turn, why, because it’s not so much about stopping anything as it is about growing their terror combatting business to be even bigger that it already has grown to be.

            If you want to stop terrorism, then start cutting these agencies in to halls, and quarters. Then you will see a decrease like you could never have imagined. This methodology would work well, but with a few tweaks to be applied where necessary, but there go I.

            Think of it this way, we bombed seven countries who never attacked us, and yet ally with the very countries where our terrorist came from. Instead of addressing a way to make us really safe, they will build an expensive wall, invade the wrong countries, make all the wrong friends, and trash our U.S. Constitution, all for the sake of a dollar….nothing of what our government is doing is to keep us safe, but it has everything to do with the bottom line profit….but we’re going to make America Great Again, just watch us Canadians and eat your heart out. Yeah!

    • Zachary Smith
      January 31, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      I’ve no doubt at all that Jeb Bush could have quickly assembled a slick bunch of folks who would have put on a real show of “looking Presidential”. Ditto for Hillary. From all the evidence available to me from the primaries to this very day, Trump isn’t yet doing as badly as either of them despite the floundering around..

      The Republican candidates were a total horror show, and bad as Trump was, I maintain he was the “least bad” of them. When Americans took a look at the choice they had between the two worst opposing candidates I know of in US history, they chose Trump. Except for the torture, the Heritage Supreme Court, and Mike Pence, I’d have voted for him too.

      Even Mr. Wonderful Bernie Sanders wasn’t any kind of prize, for merely being “better than any of the others” isn’t all that much of an endorsement. The despicable cheating by Hillary & Co. guaranteed he wasn’t going to be the Dem candidate, so we’re left with Trump.

      I’m certainly going to bitch and moan about many if not most of the actions of this barely informed right-wing billionaire, but I’m also going to keep in mind that the “before election” choice was Hillary, and the “after election” one is Mike Pence.

      • Bill Bodden
        January 31, 2017 at 11:39 pm

        … but I’m also going to keep in mind that the “before election” choice was Hillary, and the “after election” one is Mike Pence.

        The choices before the election also included Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, both very clean and more enlightened and civilized than Trump and Clinton. The voters could have chosen Johnson or Stein. Instead, more than 120 million voters, more than 90 percent, said they were okay with “the two worst opposing candidates I know of in US history.”

        Admittedly, it wasn’t realistic to expect Johnson or Stein to be elected, but the fact remains the voters had options other than “the two worst opposing candidates I know of in US history” – the two they voted for.

        However, the rot is not only in the White House. In the highly unlikely event Johnson or Stein had been elected president instead, the corrupt oligarchs of the duopoly would have ganged up on him or her and nothing would have been accomplished which may have been better than the current and probably expanding chaos facing the nation now.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          February 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

          Stein soiled her reputation by taking the Soros shilling in the recount charade which, had it been carried through, likely would have revealed problems in the major cities controlled by Clinton operatives, Detroit and Philadelphia, even increasing Trump’s lead in those key states. It was already starting to happen in Michigan when discrepancies were revealed in Wayne County ballot boxes before the plug was pulled.

        • rosemerry
          February 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm

          The fact remains that the USA has one of the highest levels of absenteeism of any modern democracy, since neither of the Parties (the Big Two) offers a choice for those who want to be represented as citizens, not lobbies or donors/bribers. Nearly half those eligible do not vote, and of course the various methods shown by Greg Palast in “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” shows what happens to many of those who thought they did vote!

          Think of the weak GOP candidates Trump could easily defeat, then think of John McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012- the GOP obviously did not want to win-they had a Republican POTUS already in Obama!! Trump is the natural result this time.

  2. Evangelista
    January 31, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Just a quick notification, required for the “News Industry” (MSM [Main Stream Media] and ALTT [Also Less That Truthful] both) fictionalizing The Trump Dangerous Muslims Ban to a “Muslim Ban”:

    The focus of the Trump Order is “Dangerous Muslims”, as defined by perceptible within-groupings inclinations to terrorism, Da’esh activism and the like, and having less than trustable screening facilities and capabilities. The ban is not, as it is being characterized for anti-Trump propaganda purposes, a ban on all of Muslim faith.

    The focus being to guarding against dangerous Muslims (violent Muslim Puritan fanatics), and not to non-violent rational religiously Muslim persons, makes the Presidential Order legal. It also makes the direction of the Order to specific groups legitimate.

    Arguments and hyperventilations that the ‘ban’ is a “Muslim Ban” are, for the focus of the Order being to “dangerous Muslims”, Not legitimate. They are off-point and irrelevant.

    Wrongful inclusions, for example, Iran, whose extra-national aggressive actions have included legitimate intercepts and assaults, and whose “terrorist” activities, including taking hostages, have occurred within its borders (or in retaliations given legitimacy by the like being accepted legitimate when undertaken by other nations (specifically the US), are legitimately contestable as inappropriate.

    Other inclusions may be contestable on humanitarian grounds, which may be met by appropriate procedures to separate the sheep from the wolves, which humanitarianism requires to be put in place. Such measures require measures of time to bring on line . For this hysterias in the first couple of days, or couple of weeks, are propaganda, fluff and mindlessly hostile blather.

    We can all save a lot of time and make addresses more focused and on point to legitimate issues if we ignore the hysterical media at least long enough to Read the Original Documents, and find out what the Media Mud-Wrestlers are not aware of and so not reporting, for their incompetence that no one with a working brain can today not be aware of and not recognize to be next to certain.

    “Reading Original documents”, as here used, means reading original documents analytically. It does not mean glossing them for hyperventilation-worthy ‘high’ points.

    Second, About Executive Orders: For the separation of powers and the check-and-balance between branches provided in the U.S. Constitution for the United States Constitution created, and foundationed, government for the United States, Executive Orders are NOT Imperial Dictations.

    Executive Orders are orders akin to restaurant orders: They are statement of Executive Wishes. They are subject to Legislative and Judiciary branch reviews and determinations. If something demanded by a President in an Executive Order cannot be supplied (implemented) by the legislature, or the legislature will not supply or permit it, the executive order goes unfilled and unfulfilled. Likewise if an Executive Order, or a component in one, is illegal, or unConstitutional, or not in the members of the United States Public’s interests, the judiciary branch has power, or obligation, to declare the Order void or moot.

    It is necessary to READ Executive Orders ANALYTICALLY, to determine the actual import and content.

    Along with the “Dangerous Muslims Screening” implementing Executive Order that the hysterics are hyperventilating a “Muslim Ban”, Trump presented an Executive Order demanding the tarsands oil handling pipeline projects into and through the U.S. be expedited. That Order has been ascribed an order to bull-through with the projects. Expedited does not mean ‘damn the law and build ahead’, it means ‘follow procedures expeditiously’. The only media I have found the information that the Order was issued to expedite procedures, instead of to say ‘damn the procedures, build the pipelines’ was “RT”.

    The U.S. media both MSM and ALTT, is so wrought up and so propaganda-fixed that none bothered to read the Order, and none have bothered to inform The People what the Order ordered. So all are running in circles pulling their tails between their legs and howling in distracted outrage, not a single one with even a half-ass idea what the reality is, or what going forward in the future on a rational course requires.

    The Army Corp of Engineers has, to expedite the processes, opened the public comment period to obtain required input in regard to questions the pipeline projects raise, which questions include potential effects of both the pipelines and current tarsand extraction technology pose for the North American mid-continental water table (Tarsand extraction technology is about where well-oil extraction technology was in 1900, when ‘gushers’ were let blow and byproduct was let spew and pollute, except tarsand extraction pollutes aquifers instead of only surrounding lands).

    So we have the hysterics all set up to be blowing anti-Trump blather, making themselves feel adrenaline-alive, while missing completely the window when they should be studying geology and technology to have knowledge to cogently foundation arguments for postponing support for aquifer-befouling unready for market technology and mineral extractions that are currently unnecessary for the market being already glutted from more mature and under control sources.

    Remember the Chicken-Little story? The end, where all the hysterics were given shelter in the cotes of Foxy-Loxy, whose family lived fat on their fat through the winter. Just so all know what is coming…

    • exiled off mainstreet
      February 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      This puts the issues put forward by the controversy into a realistic perspective, including the character of those fueling the controversy.

    • rosemerry
      February 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Excellent, and very helpful.

  3. Zachary Smith
    January 31, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    This was a darned good essay, and somebody in the Trump Administration ought to give it a lot of thought.

    As an aside of my own, Trump needs to put a sock in the mouth of some of his “spokesmen” and a leash on advisers like that Stephen Bannon character. Yes, listen to him, but don’t do anything substantial based solely on his advice until consulting a good number of people who aren’t as nutty.

  4. John P
    January 31, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you Paul on further insights to Trumps one step forward, two back behaviour. Where the hell is America going,.

    This is an article from the Toronto Star on Oct. 14, 2016, concerning a documentary on Trumps public behaviour, and how he treated the people (an elderly woman, a girl, a farmer) around Balmedie Scotland where he was going to build a golf course. He brags, “I’m the king of permits! I can always get a permit! That’s why I’m rich!”. Balmedie is where the comedy Local Hero was filmed in 1983.

    https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2016/10/14/doc-makers-plan-sequel-to-revealing-donald-trump-film-howell.html

  5. January 31, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    There are critics of policy who evaluate the secular progressive agenda as inadequate to either a comprehensive understanding of or a practical compassionate resolution of the crises that have been the disastrous consequence of continuous U.S. foreign warmaking for the last 15 years.

    I would also emphasize there can be no doubt that the implementation of this executive order by the part of DHS that used to be INS was very poor – because there hasn’t been any directive or policy that this stultified and most inept of dysfunctional bureaucracies hasn’t botched for at least the last thirty years. As those with family members who include naturalized citizens and Permanent Resident cardholders subjected to indignities and delays, we know whereof we speak.

    I think that those who are citizens, and have never had personal interactions with the bureaucracy, regardless of their perspective, have no idea of just how badly run this department is, compared to others.

    Sad, too, is that the previous administration is the one that singled out these particular majority Muslim countries for discrimination in precedent executive orders, baking in a couple who we are not at war with, while exempting through political expedience others more guilty of fomenting terrorism. Yet it remains true that outside this cauldron of hatred in the Middle East, all the majority of Muslim countries around the globe, whose citizens are far more numerous, are not affected. Thus it is disingenuous to use the inflammatory label of a general “Muslim Ban.”

    Much more seriously in regards to most pronouncements either from mass media or via the twitterverse, there is a severe disconnect between the “Just Keep Shopping” and “Dow 20,000” mentalities and a country that is involved in major wars conveniently undeclared while being inexplicably obtuse to the consequences.

    There never has before been the case where during the course of war being waged, that a country interested in winning those wars at the same time accepted any considerable number of immigrants from the countries where it was at war. Logic, which has gone out the window in regards to war strategy and policy just as surely as it has in so many other areas, dictates that this is not sound. Perhaps neither Sun Tzsu nor the story of the Trojan Horse any longer are believed prescient to our addled professional political class.

    It ought to be neither surprising for those of us who know history, that consequently these wars now never end or are ever won, because those who make policy and strategy so egregiously ignore all of history’s lessons.

    Moreover, unlike previous declared wars like WWII, the current unofficial ones cannot pull the country out of its dilapidated economic situation, the brunt force of which does not fall upon either comfortably ensconced liberals or the elites at the commanding heights, but upon the millions they perceive only as deplorables in the abstraction of the precariat they dismiss as flyover country. Situated largely on the coasts, they look outward across oceans, and have lost the moral empathy to peer inward.

    During the previous declared wars, there was a general mobilization of men and industry away from existing peaceful manufacturing, employing millions of women for the first time in industry during a sudden war caused labor shortage, a crucial time which despite its destruction lasted a fraction of our endless current warfare. This time, women are already permanently deployed, peaceful manufacturing has significantly been eviscerated to offshore without normal resuscitation possible and there is a terrible glut of labor resulting in the largest non participation by able bodied adults in full time work since the Great Depression.

    Under those circumstances, it is sheer folly not to realize that mass immigration will cause dislocation and economic suffering among those who are being relentlessly pushed downward. Again this cognitive dissonance is unparalleled by any previous American standard.

    It is wonderful to be compassionate about those far away, but charity must to be efficacious begin at home, where loving one’s deplorable immediate neighbors in the heartland proves more of a challenge.

    We all ought to know that the cause of the refugee crisis is the pre-emptive warmaking and seeking Full Spectrum Dominance over the whole world, the assumption that every other nation can be subsumed in a hierarchy of satrapy globalism, through either economic warfare or shock and awe destruction.

    Any serious student of history cannot believe that mass importation of those from other not easily absorbed cultures, in such numbers, can do other than further destabilize this dire domestic situation.

    What needs to happen, which is extremely difficult given the late day engendered by so many errors and so much deception, is that the endless wars need to be wound down as quickly as possible, concomitant with massive aid in support of refugees near their countries, so that they can return there as quickly as humanly possible. Good paying jobs with benefits need to return to the United States, a very difficult task made worse by not pausing mass immigration and the fact that both the military and war industries are now outsized contributors to employment and industry that so many are dependent upon. Demobilization would cause immediate unsustainable political blowback as dismantling this structure without anything in place to reindustrialize, would cause even further economic distress with unemployment and balance of payments issues.

    I think you ought see the chasm yawning, just ahead. When “normal” legitimate politicians can no longer be credible and realistically have no answer for their peoples’ crises, that is the particular point where demagogues arise.

    It is a mistake to cast President Trump as the lumpenprole Austrian corporal who begged for alms for his crude paintings in the gutters of Vienna and drew his plans while incarcerated for armed insurrection. Mr. Trump, a businessman involved in large scale peaceful building projects, is a kind of last, worst hope for America veering off from its present imperial course, before all is lost and we lurch over an abyss, led in final desperation by those rough crouching beasts yet to come – who will have nothing but destructive fantasies to offer, because there won’t be anything else.

    We pray for the end to these wars, without which there will be no solution. And for this President and his advisors to be protected and granted the wisdom to do so.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 1, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Good commentary.

      With determination and will, it wouldn’t be nearly impossible to convert from a weapons industry to a plougshare one.

      There could be no better time than now. By converting our manufacturing cells away from stamping out weapons to immediately start stamping, molding, machining, ploughshare products would be a boom to niche suppliers everywhere overnight.

      Dropping all vindictive sanctions which have been imposed on many nations, would have it’s rewards in the export markets, and create jobs almost immediately upon any announcement along these lines. From your local UPS truck to the largest Maersk Lines ocean going transport, and all of the varied vendor industries that supply companies such as I mentioned would feel the need for their services, and be happy to oblige.

      Catapillar would be able to leap out of it’s fifty month slump. The heavy mover equipment business which is associated to Catapillar by competition and cooperation would follow in success, like a caboose following the engine. Labor and investments would feel the sudden neck snapping jerk and be singing their happy tune as they all go along for the ride. Replace the name Catapillar with GE, USX, or any other larger than life corporation and by aiming the target business markets to producing renewables, building equipment supplies, medical equipment, or anything positive, and then start rebuilding the war torn world we have created, and then you are on your way to a better earth. A priority list negating war would do the trick..call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

      The labor pool is filled with people in need of a job, and a place to sleep. Let Syrians rebuild Syria. Continue this process world wide concentrating on starving and war destroyed nations, and you will have rehabilitated these unwanted refugees into becoming their own landlords in their very so loved countries of origin. Maybe NAFTA was a good sounding idea on paper, but let’s face it, it isn’t working, so scrap it and replace it. Replace it with a national work force who may thrive in their own land, but open the door to them with a worldwide market to compete in.

      There are ways out of this ever lasting war era, but we as human beings need to want to make it happen. To do this, countries need leaders who are beholden to no other than beholden to their own people who they represent. That last sentence is where the problems always occur, and that is where by someway by some method not known to me, is where we should break ground first and set the rules….you get the shovel!

  6. backwardsevolution
    February 1, 2017 at 2:20 am

    It’s okay to be at war with these countries and bomb them, but don’t ban them. As Fran Macadam pointed out above, it’s highly unusual to bring in people from a country you’re at war with. That’d be like Saudi Arabia accepting people from Yemen (who are bound to be furious for what’s been done to them).

    The wars need to be ended, and money needs to be supplied to these war-torn countries from the U.S. and other members of NATO in order to help with rebuilding. The people (doctors, dentists, teachers, nurses, civil servants) who are fleeing need to be returned to their countries as they are needed to help with this rebuilding. If you empty out these countries, take all their best workers, it’s much harder for them to get back on their feet. But maybe that’s the plan?

    Also, Trump just has a different style. He gets stuff done. Maybe that’s a good thing. He’s been the President for all of ten days. Let’s give him a chance.

    • Irene
      February 2, 2017 at 2:06 am

      He’s had a chance. He’s attacked the remaining members of Anwar Al-Awlaki’s family in Yemen, killing civillians including an eight year old girl. Three American soldiers were killed in the process. It was reported on BBC and Al-Jazeera. It’s hard to believe anyone could be more detrimental to middle east stability than Bush, Obama and Hillary Clinton, but he is.

  7. Brad Owen
    February 1, 2017 at 8:16 am

    And what does the Nation have to show for thorough-going consultation with the Experts and the Very Serious People endeavoring to build a Washington Consensus for the official Playbook??? De-industrialization, impoverishment, unipolar, global Empire-building, criminal imperial wars to break all opposition to said Empire, massively criminal “collateral damage”, foolishly destructive economic policies of “too big to fail”, and austerities…in short; the NWO/Skull-n-Bones/Secret Societies’ wet dream for the World. I think Trump & crew are aiming at the destruction of THAT form of government, and its’ sponsors. Who would they trust for accurate “target acquisition”? So they blindly flail about, hoping to hit it. It’s too early to tell how on-, or off-target they are yet.

  8. Herman
    February 1, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Macadam, Evangelista, Backwardsevolution and others, thanks for the cogent comments and the recognition that the mass immigration can best be addressed by doing something about why it exists. The recognition of our role in creating the immigration crisis would be welcome among the opinion makers and leaders but there are no signs that this is happening. Beyond recognition must be accountability, that the United States played a major role in creating the crisis, and should accept responsibility to do something about it. Clearly, the solution is not to simply relocate people to alien cultures but to allow them to return home, and in some cases insist that they do.

  9. J'hon Doe II
    February 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    A Mirror Image?
    ::
    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin said: “Stalin is excessively rude, and this defect, which can be freely tolerated in our midst and in contacts among us Communists, becomes a defect which cannot be tolerated in one holding the position of the Secretary General. Because of this, I propose that the comrades consider the method by which Stalin would be removed from this position and by which another man would be selected for it, a man, who above all , would differ from Stalin in only one quality, namely, greater tolerance, greater loyalty, greater kindness, and more considerate attitude toward the comrades (the people), a less capricious temper, etc.”.

  10. akech
    February 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    testing one two three

  11. Roger
    February 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Usual tripe from pillar.

  12. John P
    February 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Tests of Trumps policy management over Israel.

    Netanyahu is testing Trump in his second week when there’s so much covering thunder around, by building a whole new large settlement in the West Bank. Let’s see what Trump has to say. Perhaps his true colours will come out or perhaps silence.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/01/middleeast/israel-settlements-approved/index.html

    And more violence against a Palestinians at a home demolition area.

    http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-01-18/violence-the-language-a-jewish-state/

  13. Stiv
    February 1, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Cute misdirection from Bannon. It’s a fascist state they want and are moving towards. Makes the Ollie North operation look like child’s play. Don’t sugar coat it.

  14. Paul G.
    February 1, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Trump is continuing the same decision making processes that earned him numerous bankruptcies, lawsuits and two divorces. That is: Impulsiveness, ruthlessness, the inability to forecast or even care about consequences of his behavior; informed by a feeling of invulnerability justified by his wealth. This stems back to early backstopping by filthy rich daddy and one of America’s sleaziest lawyers, Roy Cohn (look him up for good insight into the Orange one’s character). All this compounded by spectacular level of narcissism and anti-intellectuality. This guy must have flunked kindergarten big time, he is just a big spoiled brat.

  15. February 1, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    “The Ganging up on Donald Trump” is no surprise. For years, the establishment, the media and the politically correct have had their way. Now that they have lost their influence, they are screaming, crying and in a raging frenzy.

    “If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment’s hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity — for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power. All the elements of that establishment — corporate, cultural, political, media — are today issuing an ultimatum to Middle America: Trump is unacceptable.”
    Patrick J. Buchanan, August 12, 2016, The American Conservative….
    More info at link below:
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/the-ganging-up-on-donald-trump.html

  16. Wm. Boyce
    February 2, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Yeah, Mr. Trump was a great choice over Ms. Clinton, all you geniuses who comment on the decline of the West may be realizing that at this point, or not.

    So we have a “disruptive” White house, fueled by 1930’s-styled nationalism and hatred of other races. It’s a beautiful thing, no?

    Deal with it.

    • Joe J Tedesky
      February 2, 2017 at 2:29 am

      Wm. Boyce I’m serious when I say when I come across your comments of disgust over having Trump for president, that I regain my consciousness I loss from all of the hype and spin going on over our newly elected sociopath and chief. It’s like every time I feel myself getting close to taking a taste of Trump’s koolaid your there, to bring me back to the reality of this guy. Seriously, between the MSM to the 200 Fake Internet News Sites I’m going in circles trying to get a read on this guy Trump. So, for now I have been using your comments as a life line, and by this methodology I’m not building myself up for the big let down. Although, for now since Trump is the only President we have, I will hope he doesn’t screw it up to a point it is impossible to fix it….so we will wait and see. Thanks Joe

  17. J'hon Doe II
    February 2, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Iran has been put “on notice” — so have Mexico, Australia, the United Nations as well as Nato. Add to that US Government Agencies, Federal Employees and a host of prevalent American freedoms. —
    And now it’s Winter in America… .

    http://genius.com/Gil-scott-heron-and-brian-jackson-winter-in-america-lyrics

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