Deciphering Trump’s Opaque Foreign Policy

President Trump has set loose several competing – and contradictory – strands of foreign policy with the big question now whether he can avoid tripping himself up, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

It is now a commonplace to note that President Trump is advocating a mercantilist “America First” foreign policy, at odds with the prevailing globalist view of a cosmopolitan, super-culture; that he is intent on dismantling this globalist zeitgeist that he believes imposes moral and cultural norms which have weakened America’s mercantile “animal spirits” and whose embrace of the politics of diversity has sapped the strength from America’s moral and cultural sinews.

President Donald Trump

In practice, the policy that emerges will not be so black and white, or so easily categorized. “Team Trump,” in fact, embraces three distinct approaches: the “benevolent American hegemon” traditionalists, the Christian warriors pitted against an Islamic “hostile” ethos – and, of course, Trump’s own “America First” mercantilism. Each of these trends distrusts the other, yet must ally with one or the other in order to balance the third or at least avoid having it act as spoiler.

This inter-connectivity makes it especially hard to read the runes – the Trump administration’s marks of mysterious significance – of likely U.S. policy given the jostling and elbowing ahead between three distinct world views. And it is made even harder given President Trump’s and strategic adviser Steve Bannon’s deliberate embrace of a politics of feint and distraction, to throw opponents off-balance.

Trump’s style of mercantilist politics – though novel in our era – is not new. It has occurred before, and in its earlier setting led to profound geo-political consequences. It led then to war and ultimately to the emergence of a new geo-political order.

That is not necessarily to say that the same will occur today, but on Sept. 17, 1656, Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant puritan who had fought a civil war in England against its Establishment and its élite and who had deposed and then executed the reigning king, addressed his revolutionary parliamentarians in Westminster by posing the question: Who are our enemies? There was, he answered to the gathered parliamentarians, an alignment of “wicked men” in the world led by a powerful state – Catholic Spain with the Pope at its head. The “enmity” that Cromwell’s countrymen faced was, at its root, the evil of a religion – Catholicism – that “refused the Englishman’s desire for simple liberties … that put men under restraint … [and] under which there was no freedom.”

Since Cromwell’s day, the mainly English-speaking (Protestant) world has demonized its “enemies” as opponents of “God’s will” through their clinging to the failings of a static and backward religious ethic (as the Puritans characterized Catholicism). And, as for the complaint of “restraint” and “lack of liberty”? At its crux lay English frustration at the impediments faced by its traders and merchants. The Puritans of that time saw in Catholicism an ethos that was not welcoming to individual enterprise, to profit or to trade.

English “hawks” – usually Puritans and merchants – wanted an aggressive anti-Spanish policy that would open new markets to burgeoning English trade. Catholicism was not an ethos, the Cromwellians fervently and dogmatically asserted, in which the nascent capitalism of the time could thrive.

Cromwell’s address to Parliament in 1656 was an early articulation of the Protestant ethic: one that has contributed hugely to shaping American entrepreneurial capitalism, and in taking America to its position of power (Steve Bannon does in fact acknowledge the parallel: “I am Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors,” he once said to a reporter).

A Religious War

Today, for one significant Trump constituency (the Tea Party base), Iran is today’s Spain, and it is Islam (vice Catholicism) that is frustrating “God’s will,” by embracing an ethos that hates the Christian “ethic.” And, it is secular globalization that has sapped America’s mercantile animal spirits, imposed restrictions on trade (i.e. NAFTA), and whose cultural and “value” norms are sapping America’s moral and spiritual muscularity.

Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn speaks at the Defense Intelligence Agency change of directorship at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, July 24, 2012. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Why should this Cromwell analogy matter today? In one sense, Trump had little choice. In opposing the (“restrictive”) globalist, foreign policy – with its spinal cord of a U.S.-led global defense sphere – the President needed to stand up some alternative foreign policy to the embedded totem of “America as the gyroscope of the global order.”

Pure mercantilism – in the style of businessman negotiator-ism – is not really, of itself, a foreign policy. The power of the “benign U.S. hegemon” meme would require something more powerful to be set up, over, and against it, to balance it out. Trump has opted for the “Christianity in peril” narrative. It is one that touches on deeply buried cultural veins of Protestant imagery within the President’s Tea Party constituency.

Retired General Michael Flynn, now Trump’s National Security Advisor, perhaps best represents this religiously based, pro-Christian Republican foreign policy, while retired General James Mattis, now U.S. Defense Secretary, perhaps has a foot in both Republican camps — as Martin Wright from Brookings explains:

“Republican foreign policy since 9/11 has had two basic strands, which sometimes contradict each other. The first is that the United States is in an existential fight against radical Islam. The second is that America’s global interests involve the maintenance of U.S. leadership in Europe and East Asia — interests, in other words, that extend far beyond combating radical Islam. The Republican establishment has always toed the line on the first, but it has increasingly focused much more on the second. The global war on terror has, of late, taken second place to balancing China and containing Russia.

“But a group within the Republican tent never made this shift. These are the people who believe the United States is engaged in a war against radical Islam that is equivalent to World War II or the Cold War. They believe it is a struggle rooted in religion to which all else should be subservient — that America’s overwhelming focus must be on radical Islam instead of revisionist powers in Europe or Asia. They also generally favor moving away from a values-based foreign policy to harsh methods to wage a major war.

“For the most part, the leaders of this school of thought have been dismissed as cranks or ideologues. But their views were widely shared in the Republican electorate, who were increasingly alarmed by the Islamic State. And they found an ally in Trump.” (emphasis added)

In short, we should expect the Administration’s policy to oscillate between these two poles of Republican foreign policy, as Trump plays off one against another, in order to insert his own (“non – foreign policy”) of radical mercantilism. The Cromwellian meme of making Iran the “number one” terrorist state and radical Islam the “hostile ethos” does fit well for the U.S. President to embrace the businessman-negotiator modus operandi  under the cover of belligerency towards the Islamic “ethos.”

A Popular ‘Enemy’

Belligerency towards Iran is, of course, popular and in this way Trump’s policy translates well or at least understandably to the mores of the Washington Beltway. This “hostile Islam” meme also provides the rationale (defeating Islamic terror) for détente with Russia. I have suggested earlier that détente with Russia is key to Trump’s dismantling of Washington’s “benign hegemon” global defense sphere. Trump argues that the “blanket” U.S. defense sphere precisely limits the possibilities for the U.S. to negotiate advantageous trade terms with its allies on a case-by-case bilateral basis.

An Iranian child holding a photo of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei at one of his public appearances. (Iranian government photo)

In effect, under the cover of fighting a hostile Islamic “ethos,” Trump can pursue détente with Russia – and then toughly “businessman-negotiate” with allied states (now stripped of the Russian “threat” elevating them to a status as America’s somehow privileged, defense allies). This seems to be Secretary Tillerson’s intended role.

Martin Wright again: “This is why naming Rex Tillerson as secretary of state was so important for Trump. A week before he was named, Trump’s senior aide Kellyanne Conway told the press that Trump was expanding the list of names for secretary of state and that the most important consideration was that the nominee ‘would be to implement and adhere to the president-elect’s America-first foreign policy — if you will, his view of the world.’ The implication was clear: [Mitt] Romney, David Petraeus, and others would not fit the bill, so Trump would have to look elsewhere. He found Tillerson.

“Tillerson is a pragmatist and a dealmaker. In many ways, he is a traditionalist. After all, he was endorsed by James Baker, Robert Gates, Hadley, and Condoleezza Rice. However, Trump also sees him, based on his personal relationship with Putin and opposition to sanctions on Russia, as someone willing to cut deals with strongmen and who sees national security through an economic lens and is thus an embodiment of his own America First views. Speaking in Wisconsin hours after naming Tillerson, Trump said, ‘Rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don’t get along with, and some people don’t like that. They don’t want them to be friendly. That’s why I’m doing the deal with Rex, ‘cause I like what this is all about.’” (emphasis added)

Is this – the war with a “hostile Islamic ethos” – then just a ploy, a diversion? Something for Iran to ignore? We suspect that Iran should not assume that Trump’s targeting of Iran and radical Islam is just some harmless diversion. It is not likely that Trump actively seeks war with Iran, but were Iran to be perceived to be deliberately humiliating Trump or America, the President (self-confessedly) is not of a temperament to let any humiliation pass. He likes to repay those who do him harm, ten-fold.

End of White America

But additionally, since, as polls show, and a leading American commentator on religion and politics, Robert Jones, has written, the Trump phenomenon is also deeply connected with the end of an American era: The End of White Christian America (as his book is entitled). In point of fact, the era has already passed. For, as Jones notes, “1993 was the last year in which America was majority white, and Protestant.”

Jones writes of the “vertigo” felt – even within the insular settings of many Southern and Midwestern towns where white Protestant conservatives continue to dominate society, and politics – at their “loss of place at the center of American culture, democracy and cultural power.”

Salt has been rubbed into this wound by a Democratic Party that has somewhat reveled in the passing of white majority America and exacerbated the sore through rebranding itself as the new “majority” of minorities. Jones remarks that while some in America “might celebrate” its passing, white Christian America did provide some kind of “civic glue,” and he ruminates on how the sense of void and anxiety on “what might serve that purpose [in the future], might well turn destructive.”

This is, Iran might recall, Trump’s core constituency, which he must mollify if he is to remain in office. The destructive impulse of Tea Party-ists, if scratched repeatedly, might seek to let off steam at some convenient target.

But secondly, it seems that Trump shares in some measure, this embrace of Judeo-Christian values. Certainly Steve Bannon does. He has said plainly that American capitalism – if it is to survive – must be reconnected to Judeo-Christian values. But what explains Trump’s paradoxical focus on Iran, which is fighting Islamic radicalism, rather than say, Saudi Arabia, which is not?

Here, Martin Wright gives us the clue: “In January and February [2016], Trump was under pressure to unveil a foreign-policy team. The Republican foreign-policy establishment overwhelmingly condemned him, largely because of his America First views. It was at this point that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn started advising him. … Several weeks after Flynn came on board, Trump rolled out a list of foreign-policy advisors. Most were completely unknown, but the name Walid Phares stood out. Phares has a controversial past as a leading figure in a Lebanese Christian militia, and is known as a hard-liner in the war on terror.”

Mother Jones’ investigative report is plain: Phares, a Lebanese Christian Maronite, is a Samir Gagea man, who has a long history, dating back to Lebanon’s civil war of (intellectual) animosity towards Iran and Syria. It seems Trump (and Flynn too?) may have imbibed deeply at the bitter well of Lebanese prejudice and civil war hatreds?

Translating the Runes

So what do the runes tell us? The occult alphabet of Trump’s foreign policy will prove hard to read. The essential tension between, on the one hand, the “America Firsters” and the religious warriors – and all those who adhere to the American “traditionalist” policy position – portends the prospect of policies that might oscillate, from time to time, between these three diverse and conflicting poles.

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

Let us remind ourselves – “traditionalist” includes “all those officials who support the institutions of American power, and are generally comfortable with the post-World War II bipartisan consensus on U.S. strategy, even though they may seek to change it on the margins.”

It is quite likely that some of Trump’s team members who are mercantilists (such as Tillerson) or “Christian warriors” (such as Flynn), might be “bi-polar”: that is to say will be pulled in both directions on certain policy issues. We perhaps might be advised, therefore, to disregard most leaks, as more likely to constitute self-serving exercises directed towards influencing the internal struggle within “the team” (i.e. kite-flying exercises), rather than as true leaks that describe a genuine consensus reached within the “team.”

But the runes will be harder to read precisely because of Trump’s tactics of feints and distractions. As one astute chess-coach-turned-analyst has observed, Trump seems to be a pretty accomplished hand at chess:

“Chess is a game where the number of possible positions rises at an astronomical rate. By the 2nd move of the game there are already 400 possible positions, and after each person moves twice, that number rises to 8902. My coach explained to me that I was not trained enough to even begin to keep track of those things and that my only chance of ever winning was to take the initiative and never give it up. ‘You must know what your opponent will do next by playing his game for him.’ was the advice I received.

“Now, I won’t bore you with the particulars but it boiled down to throwing punches, at each and every turn without exception. In other words, if my opponent must always waste his turn responding to what I am doing, then he never gets an opportunity to come at me in the millions of possibilities that reside in the game. Again, if I throw the punch – even one that can be easily blocked, then I only have to worry about one combination and not millions.

“My Russian chess coach next taught me that I should Proudly Announce what exactly I am doing and why I am doing it. He explained to me that bad chess players believe that they can hide their strategy even though all the pieces are right there in plain sight for anyone to see. A good chess player has no fear of this because they will choose positions that are unassailable so why not announce them? As a coach, I made all of my students tell each other why they were making the moves that they made as well as what they were planning next. It entirely removed luck from the game and quickly made them into superior players.

“My Russian coach next stressed Time as something I should focus on to round out my game. He said that I shouldn’t move the same piece twice in a row and that my ‘wild punches’ should focus on getting my pieces on to the board and into play as quickly as possible. So, if I do everything correctly, I have an opponent that will have a disorganized defense, no offense and few pieces even in play and this will work 9 out of 10 times. The only time it doesn’t work for me is when I go against players that have memorized hundreds of games and have memorized how to get out of these traps. With all that said, let’s see if President Trump is playing chess.

“First, we can all agree that Trump, if nothing else, throws a lot of punches. We really saw this in the primaries where barely a day could go by without some scandal that would supposedly end his presidential bid. His opponents and the press erroneously thought that responding to each and every “outrage’ was the correct thing to do without ever taking the time to think whether or not they had just walked into a trap. They would use their turn to block his Twitter attack but he wouldn’t move that [chess] piece again once that was in play but, instead, brought on the next outrage – just like my [Russian chess] coach instructed me to do.

“Second, Trump is very vocal in what he is going to do. Just like I had my students announced to each other their [chess] strategy, Trump has been nothing but transparent about what he intends to do. After all, announcing your plans only works if your position is unassailable. It demoralizes your opponent. You rub their face in it. Another benefit to being vocal is that it encourages your opponent to bring out his favorite piece to deal with said announced plans. This is a big mistake as any good chess player will quickly recognize which piece his opponent favors and then go take them.

“Time has been the one area that our president is having problems. Executive Orders and Twitter Wars have pushed the opposition off balance but he has not been able to use this time to get all of his pieces into play. The Justice Department (his Queen) is still stuck behind a wall of pawns. Furthermore, only 5 of his 15 Cabinet picks have been confirmed as of this writing. Without control over these departments, the president can fight a war of attrition but he really can’t go on the offensive. In chess, I will gladly trade a piece for a piece if it means you have to waste your turn dealing with it. It isn’t a long term strategy if you do not have all of your pieces ready to go.”

Well, maybe its best just to sit and observe, and stop trying to read the runes?

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

39 comments for “Deciphering Trump’s Opaque Foreign Policy

  1. J'hon Doe II
    February 15, 2017 at 18:08

    Now he is eliminated by the US corporate war state operating on every plane of attack within America itself and its business-military satellites like Canada next door.

    None of this is reported in official society. Only what is falsely used against Flynn’s position of knowledge by acquaintance is reported. This is the modus operandi of the Beast. Flynn was not rogue, only rational on Russia and the war against terrorism. He led thinking at the front of the US ‘intelligence community’ in his insistence that Russia should be an ally not an enemy to eliminate the terrorist threat featuring ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other mutating names.

    He knew that all were orchestrated by covert US direction.

    I saw Flynn speak directly only once on an RT program now scrubbed from the Google search engine. The moment of his elimination has been long prepared down to the internet erasure of his advanced position on Russia.

    What stood out was Flynn’s very reasonable and dialogical commitment to protect the US and the civilian world against the terrorism rampaging around Syria, Iraq, the Middle East in general and Afghanistan.

    General Flynn emphasized the very real and sophisticated ‘Islamic’ terrorist apparatus was out of control. He opposed all the Russia-and-Putin bashing instead of intelligent cooperation with Russia in defeating ISIS. He knew that this all stood in the way of achieving the goal the Obama administration claimed.

    When the British interviewer of General Flynn kept suggesting that the US was in fact itself the dark sponsor of the many-faced Jihadi terrorism, Flynn tacitly accepted the fact and moved onto stopping it – just what he was about to lead on before he was eliminated today.

    The pervasive operations of the US corporate war state show mordant touches of absolute power ruling absolutely even against a presidential vote.

    It is the Valentine’s Day massacre of the knowing man in the President’s circle. Take out the intelligence behind and with him, and what is left? Nothing that knows what it is doing or can make military peace with Russia to eliminate the global terrorists crossing borders everywhere to sow chaos and fear ready to bow to the US-led global corporate war state.

    The billionaire front man is untouchable by the same code of absolute US money power raping the living world as its freedom.

    The Cover Up Already Achieved

  2. Franz Jender Fetiche
    February 14, 2017 at 09:07


    If Trump can restore our missing gold to our Mints and Forts and Federal Reserve and Treasury, maybe he can also restore jobs to our workers! Hmmmm.

    The Bank of Hawaii “loaded with gold” brouhaha has been raging for some years now, as an unraveling “secret” only uncovered a few years ago, and the reality could be that the BoH holds only 170,000 ounces and not 170,000 tonnes of gold, as had been quoted by several columnists. Nobody yet to date really knows for sure the real gold count there.

    Estimates of gold already mined and held today, range from 155,244 tonnes, to about 16 times that amount, 2.5 million tonnes.

    That current “official” estimate would fill three olympic size swimming pools or a 4 bedroom house with all the gold on the planet.

    The US Geological Survey estimates there are 52,000 tonnes of minable gold still in the ground and more is likely to be discovered.

    These figures are never on the mark because gold is and often remains some kind of secret possession. All the classified satellites in space science programs are highly dependent on gold for its technology. Gold is required in most of our favorite electronic toys now too, that hook us up to Big Bubba via social network e-devices.

    All my life the GOLD figures have never matched up well, decade after decade, but today one can find on Google the amounts of gold given for New York Federal Reserve [6700 tonnes, — but with the clarification it is not owned by them], Ft. Knox [which last time i read it was EMPTY, but online statistics today say 4,582 metric tons is harbored there], and Bank of London [5,134 tonnes], etc. Today if you are an individual and don’t hold the gold you bought in your hand or stash it where you can grab it easily later, you don’t really own it, if you bought it as a paper certificate. The certificates are not reliable. One will not be able to run and get their gold using their certificate during a crisis, it will not be given to them.

    The San Francisco Mint near the end of Market Street at the outer outer fringe of Haight Ashbury district [3 of the main witchcraft/occult shops of San Francisco are all near the Mint for some reason] is rumored to hold much gold, but trying to find out how many tons of bouillon and not just coins, using internet sources, is next to impossible. This should be public information in a true democracy. After all, it is “our” gold as taxpayers [of additional interest, the San Francisco Federal Reserve is the 2nd most powerful after New York’s, and not the Chicago Fed Reserve Bank, as one might suspect. Many of Obama’s and Michelle’s lifetime career rainmakers were with the Chicago Fed and their revolving door with Goldman Sachs].

    The important point here is that Bank of Hawaii may also be a major player on the gold world stage, and the rumors started flying due to this under-reported gold hording news. Why Hawaii? Punahou School [K-12] in Hawaii is famous for being the grade and high school for a vast majority of our generals in the Pentagon, going back over 100 years, and also Obama went there and many high directors of the CIA and other intel agencies, few of them residents of Hawaii. Is this mysterious fact connected somehow to the large and unaccountable gold holdings of the Bank of Hawaii, much like our military-academic-industrial-weapons dealers shadow state is unaccountable? Do volcanoes spew up more gold than we have imagined? Is the “protected bubble” bunker megalopolis for the western global elite in Hawaii, and not tunneled deep underground in Nevada or Colorado, according to the many urban legends?

    In 2013 the figure of 3500 tons of gold held by the Chinese was thrown into the cybercosmos, that figure has now gone rogue and nobody knows for sure how much the Chinese have today. Our own bankers had back then estimated 3500 tons but the Bank of China declared only 1,658 tons in 2015. It is even conceivable that America gave most of its gold to the Chinese when they wanted to cash in their Treasuries, after it dawned on the Chinese that real money would never be given back to them. Some experts speculate that the Chinese have rightly and not wrongly been just waiting for the best time to amputate the US dollar, without provoking a war or suffering some kind of parallel collapse themselves, because of all the instability that would lava down on the U.S., some of it might also trickle down to their mighty CHINA DRAGON empire too.

    U.S. has been the world’s largest debtor nation since 1985, yet we have greatly enlarged our military interests worldwide by ten-fold in those 3 decades, and not attended to our own domestic defects and failings and national needs.

    China may already have nearly bought as much gold as they feel they need to dump the dollar, which has been a worry of theirs for a long time, since they hold the life or death fate of the US dollar in their hands, and since the bonds they got in return for their mega-loans are most probably in reality worthless. The Chinese own a sizable majority of our US Treasuries, ever since we became the number one debtor nation, over 30 years ago and could not keep up all our wars and soldiering going on without the Chinese hard money and liquidity.

    Most of the U.S. ports were long ago sold to Dubai, despite the faux protestations of the Congress back then. It has been all covered up by other contractors’ names. The U.S. news stopped covering this treacherous sell-out after the very publicized Month of Congresspersons Who “doth protest too much”, when both sides of the aisle in Congress distanced themselves in kabuki like theater, from the bite-and-devour gobble it up deal.

    Lots of U.S. real estate was used as collateral to the Chinese to back up the swap of our Treasury bonds for their cash.

    This development is much more critical for the future of America than the alarm over one man Trump and his theatrical Tweets and 100 days of executive flourishings of his fancy pen, a man who will be no less of a puppet in the White House than all of them since after Carter, the last president to make any kind of little stand at all.

    It is starting to look like the elite who know most of these discussed secrets and many other undiscussed critical secrets and deceptions, they are a transnational global elite now and not bound by any national borders [the elite of US do not care if the US suffers more than some other region[s]/nations, not any longer, they could give a flying bat about us]. This elite who use Goldman Sachs as their foot soldiers 1) had to make the US election appear as if it really was championing some kind of choice to the electorate; and 2) Trump was their choice from the start and he fits the bill for social engineering purposes for what has been scripted for the US people. It is a very ingenious strategy, the inevitable fall of the US nation from decades of runaway abuses and corruption and mismanagement and “strip and sell” mania from over 3 decades, as China grew faster than the US did even during its Eisenhower Era. All of this cesspool of 25 to 30 years of deceit and lies and betrayals of trust regarding the American population, “covered up” in a sense, at the funeral, by the Orange Orangutan’s eccentricities and all the dirt of the .1% elite will be swept under his floppy toupee and nobody will be the wiser, just how we were all really screwed.

    Perhaps Trump has been signaling to us all this time with his orange face — and floppy brass colored toupee — that he knows the secrets of the missing GOLD — but his hairdressers and handlers can’t get the gold color right in his Viking like wig nor on his orangutan orange face, or, Trump is slipping in the Freudian sense and revealing he wants to hoard all the gold that could be used for his hair/facial enhancement, instead, in his sons’ basement vaults.

    • Brad Owen
      February 14, 2017 at 13:24

      I think Ellen Brown would beg to differ with you about gold. Gold means nothing to the wealth of a nation. What counts as wealth for any nation, is how many millions of scientists, engineers, technicians, tool-and-die techs, machinists, agriculturists, etc…a nation has. All that is needed is completely fiat Treasury Greenbacks, enforced as legal tender, and a plan for employing this high-skilled labor force towards useful ends. Doubt that it’ll work? Tell that to Abraham Lincoln. He won a war with this method (against the better soldiers, frankly), built a transcontinental railway, industrialized farming methods, etc…leading directly to the USA becoming a World Power of the first rank. It’s not GOLD GOLD GOLD; it’s the LABOR FORCE, LABOR FORCE, LABOR FORCE, first last and always…and a good visionary PLAN, identifying what are the worthwhile things that need to be accomplished.

      • February 14, 2017 at 16:48

        Thank you, Brad. It’s all about human services and sustainability, not to mention Confucianism: “Do onto others as you would have them do upon you”. Competition as the underlying catalyst to economic philosophy is a recipe for eternal turmoil. Humans will put themselves into extinction as we have done to so many other species on this planet. If we don’t blow ourselves to smithereens, we will surely wallow in our own waste.

  3. Brad Owen
    February 13, 2017 at 08:24

    I get a different picture from E.I.R. and its’ LaRouchePAC. Trump talking to Putin, Trump talking to Xi, Trump talking to Abe of Japan, Putin talking to Abe of Japan; I see the new era of Silk Road win-win coming together among the four powers needed to get it underway. Obama is the last President of the old Anglo-American era; Trump is the first President of this new era taking shape, a US, Russia,China, Japan, India era of cooperation on projects of mutual benefit to the whole World; a genuine U.N. era.

  4. Rob Roy
    February 12, 2017 at 19:57

    Mr. FJF,
    Thank you for all this good information, much appreciated. I thought it was Alexis Tsipras who threw the citizens under the bus by caving almost immediately to the EU’s demand for austerity in Greece, not Yanis Varoufakis who resigned because of that weakness.
    But to Mr. Cooke: this is a very interesting article. Loved the chess lesson! However, I think that while Trump may appear to be using this clever and planned strategy, he simply is acting as the bully he is. He gets his way by bullying and it’s worked all his life, not using it from as an advanced technique as a good chess player may do so in a game.
    Moving along to my pet peeve, the total misuse of the word, “meme.” You really should get in contact with your fellow Brit, Dawkins, who coined the word and let him set you straight. When you write:
    “The Cromwellian meme of making Iran the “number one” terrorist state….” and
    “This “hostile Islam” meme also provides the rationale (defeating Islamic terror) for détente with Russia.”,
    you are completely misusing that word. Pray don’t do that again. You are too intelligent a writer.

  5. Franz Jender Fetiche
    February 12, 2017 at 13:25

    Why are all the old old wise guys who still have charisma (James Petras, Ralph Nader, Paul Craig Roberts, William Engdahl, John Pilger, Peter Dale Scott, Dennis Kucinich) more accurate in their “calls” on today’s domestic and global game strategies, than so many more younger shrill experts who grew up with smart phone txt messages and Facebook & Twitter as their umbilical cord to historical reality? — and these young adults have no idea that nearly all global news media at one time were NOT back “in the day” controlled worldwide by a mere handful of uber-billionaires. Often the not-so-old among our progressives seem devoid of a memory of a better time for truth, when news and books [in all western languages] were controlled by only perhaps a thousand millionaires — and NOT like today –by so FEW of these parasitical pirates of billions/trillions, you can count these ‘corsairs’ on the fingers of one hand now!

    Things are so skewered now, almost irreversibly, from the truth, that many people think MSNBC Rachel Maddow is left/progressive in political issues — please don’t ever confuse her “radical” haughtiness with her LGBT “identity politics” — she is not in fact progressive in issues with no “identity” component. Her dad was military intel and military high court law [after his classified Air Force military work, his contacts from his past — esp. the links between General Electric GE and Pentagon and NBC headquarters–helped to place him in the upper echelons of EBMUD water rights laws in Calif and wastewater from weapons manufacturers and Silicon Valley industries]. Rachel, she grew up happily in a hybrid Republican Jewish-Catholic household, and she still does not even today identify with the Democratic Party. Her grandfather from her dad’s side grew up Jewish in Europe and then shortly after arrival in USA worked on classified nuclear weapons projects for aerospace companies associated with the US Air Force.

    Tulsi Gabbard. She is the newly branded DNC wunderkind to maybe even outdo Obama, which the lobby controlled old crusty DNC are trotting out as the new JFK. Many activists on the left have already been fooled by her. Tulsi’s father has long been a Republican senator in Hawaii [who just switched parties in 2007 when his daughter started to covet attention from the other side of the Senate aisle], she has done two tours in the middle east with the National Guard/Army, she is pro gun NRA, and she is even more insanely career ambitious than Elizabeth Warren, another kind of fraud. To get ahead and be voted in by anything resembling a ‘Left’, it is today mostly a kind of branding, like “who makes the best cell phones now” branding, and Gabbard went calculatingly in the direction of identifying with the Syrian victims who have been bombed and beheaded to death for nothing they themselves had ever done, nor anything tangible their protector Assad had done, besides leading them in their struggle to survive the wrath of the Pentagon and Israel and US taxpayer paid mercenary globetrotting jihadists. Gabbard staked her future on this Syria card and it is where she planted her flag to run for higher and higher offices. Closely watch her career as she advances and you will see a big disappointment up the road, just like in the case of Obama.

    Elizabeth Warren married twice in her life and if you read carefully her biography you will see she benefited greatly from both husbands social contacts and connections at a time she really needed her own networks but did not have them [one was a NASA engineer when she was a Republican; husband #2 ten years after #1 wedded her, she married the Yale Law School potentate who since 2002 has taught law at Harvard. He is the true expert on bankruptcies, for example, his 2002 book “Republic of Debtors: Bankruptcy in the Age of American Independence”. Warren was also a Republican in the first half of her life. With so few voices calling out for reform on Wall Street and in U.S. finance, she jumped on this opportunity and somehow became a post-2008 voice of the little people of Main St “taking on” Wall Street, despite she has a long record of claiming to be a native american indian to get grants and discounts in government assistance programs for herself that she did not deserve.

    I am only pointing all this out because until Obama unjustifiably recycled GW’s policies for 8 years in a DNC format, i had been a lifelong Democrat and hardly ever gave a moment’s reflection to the merits of any Republican program. After Obama’s first 100 days it was clear to me that both parties had been equally corrupted and the only future for USA was a multi-party system like in the democracies of Europe [and not modeled on UK or Israel]. Bernie Sanders in his own state does not really have the respect or trust of the Left there, you can do your own research on Google if you don’t believe me. It is a 95 percent white state with not many jobs for the less than half a million nearly all white Vermonters. After the snow/ski season, there are not many tourists to fleece, so as a result much of the economy there is geared towards military contractors workplaces, invited in by Bernie, and medical insurance companies, …and welfare checks [YES! Bernard managed to get generous welfare payouts for his state of whites voting in a white man with white hair, see if you can find that anywhere else in USA, easy welfare checks for whites!]. You may like the flowery words of our old bard Bernard, but his deeds have been about as left “socialist” as Captain Kangaroo’s, and right of Angela Merkel’s in Germany.

    This is the crazy quilt world of “democracy” and politics we live in. Exactly what happens when mega-corporations and global super billionaires and their consultants, rule our media and lobbies and Congress and State Department and military. Everything can be managed when there are so few owners on the levers of power, like a game theory exercise coupled to political branding. Look at Yanis Veroufakis of the Syriza revolt in Greece. SYRIZA had gained power and it was tantamount to OCCUPY WALL STREET in USA becoming as strong as the Democrat and Republican parties, a 3rd equal contender. Just as Syriza was almost at the top of the power pyramid of leading the suffering and agitating masses of Greeks moaning under the stone grinding wheel of “austerity” [ha ha … never any austerity for banksters and billion/trillions of bail out money for them!], Veroufakis suddenly emerged as number 2 in Syriza, he being the son of the richest shipping and global enterprising Greek powerful family in all modern Greek history, along the lines of Jacky O’s 2nd husband, Aristotle Onassis. What did Veroufakis do after all his “revolutionary” speeches and PhD level lectures on hedge fund game theory in tandem with his “teasing” the Greeks with catnip words endorsing a revolt of the beloved masses against rich oligarchs? He sold SYRIZA out SWIFTLY to the IMF and the German EU Troika, which had been the enemy of normal Greek families since the very first hours of the Syriza movement, long before Veroufakis rode into town from his easy economic game theory professor’s life in Australia, and with much media fanfare he charged back into Greek politics after being away in Oz for a long long time, on his golden godlike motorcycle chariot for a sun god, wearing his sexy 9000 euro black leather jacket like some kind of James Dean actor. The Greeks fell for it, just when they needed to be suspicious.

    My hope is the Americans don’t fall for a similar game theory strategy, the I HATE TRUMP simplicity, and take on both parties and drain the swamp of the filth and corrupted sewage of this deadly duopoly.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 12, 2017 at 17:24

      Franz – good post.

    • F. G. Sanford
      February 12, 2017 at 19:31

      So very well said. I can’t believe nobody could see right through that shifty-eyed Varoufakis – regular commenters will recall that I predicted a sell-out in the offing well ahead of time. Same with Bernie, Lizzie, and I’m, afraid…even Gabbard. (Rhymes with scabbard, and there’s a long, sharp knife hiding inside.) Yes, there is something to be said for “difficult to unpack”. Often, that’s the case when something wasn’t properly packed to start with. All of these charming historical analogies referring to Judeo-Christian tradition, Protestant ethics, white glue for society’s shattered fragments (like Elmer’s Glue-All?)…frankly, I find it all a bit contrived. Now, a Greco-Roman heritage analogy using late-stage Roman Imperialism and Spartan militarism might actually work. As to the religious nonsense, none of these people are Jews or Christians except when its convenient. Truman, Nixon, both Bushes, both Clintons and Obama all know they’re headed straight for Hell if such a place exists…which I frankly doubt. Obviously, they doubt it too, or they wouldn’t have committed mass murder on an industrial scale. Somebody said Trump operates on intuition. I agree. I don’t think there’s any deep philosophical gamesmanship going on here. He just remembers what it was like back in the fifties, and thinks we can have “Happy Days” again…and so far, “jumping the shark” has been good for ratings. I just loved your ‘take’ on Rachel Maddow – drove the nail clear in with just one blow. All of these media frauds are “insiders” – find out who they’re married to or what their family business connections are, and the smoke suddenly clears. For all of you trying to interpret the ethno-religious significance of all of this, I suggest you try pagan superstition and ritual human sacrifice. The analogies will make a lot more sense!

      • backwardsevolution
        February 12, 2017 at 20:24

        Sanford – “…they’re headed straight for Hell if such a place exists…which I frankly doubt. Obviously, they doubt it too, or they wouldn’t have committed mass murder on an industrial scale.”

        Machievelli believed that because there was no heaven or hell, it didn’t matter what you did. Party on! That’s what our mass murderers are doing.

        Re glue – call it what you will, but some “glue” is needed, IMO.

      • J'hon Doe II
        February 15, 2017 at 18:02

        “By the early 1880s, members decided there should be more to the organization than just chowder. After many heated arguments and a few ugly chowder incidents, it was decided that after chowder would come marching. Since you can’t march without music, the society then voted to form a marching band.
        Before long, they became the now-famous Cherryfield Chowder and Marching Society.
        “Now, the secret is out.” >>

        : would this be same as or in category of today’s BLM collective movement into real & actual ‘equal opportunity’ for divers ethnic / tribal bloodlines?
        — The Cherryfield Chowder and Marching Band represented a specific ethnic group; am I right?

    • D5-5
      February 12, 2017 at 21:18

      I don’t want to be disagreeable but I might point out that for me, and I’ll just speak for me, the ad hominem immediately puts off an odor, and I begin to wonder. Why all this attempt to run people down, based on a lot of associational stuff versus what they have actually done or are doing. Possibly the assumption behind this sort of writing is that the audience is immature and needs coaching into their conclusions, instead of being left to sort it out for themselves. My apologies for this–I don’t like it. I’m actually expecting a little higher level of thinking and arguing here in this forum.

  6. J'hon Doe II
    February 12, 2017 at 12:01

    Selected Warnings from Proverbs Chapter 29

    He who hardens his neck and refuses instruction after being often reproved (corrected) will suddenly be broken beyond repair.
    When the righteous are in authority and become great, the people rejoice;But when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.

    The king establishes (stabilizes) the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

    The righteous man cares for the rights of the poor, but the wicked man has no interest in such knowledge.

    If a wise man has a controversy with a foolish and arrogant man, the foolish man ignores logic and fairness and only rages or laughs, and there is no peace (rest, agreement).

    A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger, but a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back.

    Do you see a [conceited] man who speaks quickly [offering his opinions or answering without thinking]?
    There is more hope for a [thickheaded] fool than for him.

  7. Tony Papert
    February 12, 2017 at 09:12

    Alastair, I always follow what you write, because you combine an interesting background and knowledge, with just plain being a good human being. You are always worth reading for that reason. I worried a few months ago when one or two of your columns seemed to point to what I believed might be bad effects of some physical ailment on mental functioning.

    But I don’t consider this column worthy of you. You collect a few “isms” from throughout history, and “analyze” the President and the new administration as a collected assortment of these “isms.” You know it doesn’t work that way. Even for Oliver Cromwell!


    –Tony Papert

  8. Vesuvius
    February 12, 2017 at 08:53

    Thanks for this article!

    Is Donald Trump known to be a chess player? Has he appeared in some chess tournament?
    If so, his style in that game would be of interest to know.

  9. backwardsevolution
    February 12, 2017 at 03:53

    “Jones remarks that while some in America “might celebrate” its passing, white Christian America did provide some kind of “civic glue,” and he ruminates on how the sense of void and anxiety on “what might serve that purpose [in the future], might well turn destructive.”

    If you don’t have glue, you end up with a lot of disparate pieces strewn on the floor. No cohesion. No country.

  10. Donald MacKenzie
    February 12, 2017 at 01:02

    I think, in this article, you confuse two different English historical personalities – Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1688 with Thomas Cromwell 1485-1540. Thomas died 59 years before Oliver was born. Oliver was a descendant of Thomas’ sister…..

  11. backwardsevolution
    February 11, 2017 at 22:18

    Alastair Crooke – great article. Thank you.

    “Is this – the war with a “hostile Islamic ethos” – then just a ploy, a diversion? Something for Iran to ignore?”

    Probably. Just like how Trump set out to deal with China. He started calling China a currency manipulator, and then said to his secretary, “Get Taiwan on the phone.” Ooooh, shock and awe again, China is furious. He lets everyone sit with this for awhile, before he finally backs down. China is now happy and relieved, but meanwhile he has moved China. He has left them with doubt, a possible threat. They’ve been weakened.

  12. John
    February 11, 2017 at 21:23

    I see the beautiful woman performing in a magic show….wow I think she likes me : )

  13. Gregory Herr
    February 11, 2017 at 21:11

    “We are told we live in a Judeo-Christian civilization, that the West has a Judeo-Christian heritage, a concept useful to a largely Christian empire where Jews play a powerful role, but one which is rejected by serious scholars, both Christian and Jewish….The correct terminology would be Islamo-Christian vs Judaic civilizations, as there is a direct continuity between Christianity and Islam, which have more in common with each other than either has with Judaism…The rise of the patriotic right in the US is a reaction to the ongoing decline of Christian values in postmodern multicultural society, where religion is secondary and can be used or ignored at will. This has been the result of ‘Judeo-Christian’ civilization, which is really just a euphemism for the ideology behind US imperialism. The Christian-Jewish allies governing the empire were not interested in promoting Christian moral values, substituting commerce and sex, and Christianity declined rapidly in the 20th century…
    Muslims are the natural allies of the cry of despair that elected Trump, though his lifestyle embodies this hedonism and he seems an unlikely ally. The common people sense that America is awash in crass materialism, and long for a renewal of Christian values, which are virtually identical to Muslim values: restraint, industry, worship, peace in foreign relations, respect for life.

    This may sound odd, given the large plurality of Evangelical Christians, whose literal reading of the Bible puts them in league with Zionism, the crushing of Palestinians and the complete take-over of Palestine by the Jews. But these ‘Christians’ are like the al-Qaeda ‘Muslims’ and the Zionists themselves — inauthentic to the principles underlying all three monetheistic faiths…”

    • D5-5
      February 11, 2017 at 22:11

      The implications of this statement, related to my question above on what sort of capitalism Bannon was referring to, are truly disturbing. Are we to conclude the Trump government is moving in a parallel direction to the politicizing of religion toward radical and militant type of behavior, and what we have been fighting now for the past few years? Fight fire with fire? Or the opposite: the plan now is to do a series of Jared Kushners, in which he will swoop down as the bird of peace to bring key Arab States into line with the US-Israel alliance, and pressure Palestine into its three rocks and a potty-john, to allude to Mr. Parry’s article previously. (Sorry I don’t know what that means.) He will employ the reverse of the “inside-out” approach, which failed for twenty years, in a brilliant reversal, by going to the “outside-in”. A new peace will break out between Israel and Palestine and Trump will smile again.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 12, 2017 at 11:20

        Alastair Crooke refers to Trump’s and Bannon’s embrace of “Judeo-Christian values” and suggests that Flynn’s (Christian warrior) positions are based in religious bias or belief. The article I referenced characterizes the use of the term “Judeo-Christian values” as something of a ruse or misnomer. I think this is a valuable insight and discussion. But I differ with the contention in the referenced article that Trump is part of some “movement of social and political renewal”, nor do I believe Trump is particularly interested in morality.
        The notion that Trump is somehow working a balancing act with strategically placed players seems farfetched. (I like your wording: “a brilliantly devious Trump as though the contradictions can be sorted out in terms of deliberate, cool manipulations”). The chess analogy applied to real life…being aware of contingencies, possibilities, and thinking ahead…is apt as far as that goes. But chess is a board game with strictly spatial-mathematical possibilities. Real life contingencies are way less constrained and often quite unpredictable and fluctuous.
        Crooke’s article is way too complex for me to even attempt to unpack, but I would simply like to suggest that if Trump thinks he can have detente with Russia while at the same time stoking uncalled-for belligerence toward Iran, he is badly mistaken. I have no hope Trump will alter foreign policy away from its well-entrenched playbook of “regime change” and support for Israeli objectives.

        • D5-5
          February 12, 2017 at 12:52

          I think the power of this site is the way it jockeys together information and perspectives, so that learning can advance. Your referenced material took me direct to thinking about how religion is politicized toward its opposite, which is evilism (Satanism? I’m searching for the antonym for “religion”), NOT religion, which is then glorified and used as justification for violent extremism. Islam is not our enemy, nor are Muslims. Violent anti-religious forces claiming to be religious are the essential problem. One could respond yes, but that’s in effect what Obama has been doing by using militant proxy forces while trying to hide them as “moderate.” But at least Obama was not moving toward his own militant extremism. What I fear is Trump, with his tough talk, and advisors like Bannon and Flynn, is moving the US toward mirroring the division and violence in the middle east. And, as you say, it appears that his version of foreign policy is substantially the same, but less disguised and more belligerent.

  14. D5-5
    February 11, 2017 at 20:03

    Sorry to be dubious but I think the chess analogy overstrained, particularly given the impetuous Trump. Chess is not a game for the impetuous, and once again we have the suggestion of a brilliantly devious Trump as though the contradictions can be sorted out in terms of deliberate, cool manipulations. Playing the opponent’s game is a basic, and it’s possible that Bannon is doing this with Trump nodding in response. One does not do this on impulse but through careful study, not something Trump is reputed to engage in. There is also some lack of clarity in this metaphor, for me, in the announcing your game strategy versus pretending to announce it and deking, or feinting, which is a part of a good aggressive chess strategy. I would also seek clarity on what Bannon could possibly mean by restoring capitalism to its Judeo-Christian values. What sort of capitalism would that be, I wonder, after decades of the vulture capitalism variety, but it certainly does sound pretty.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 11, 2017 at 22:04

      D5-5 – I don’t think Trump has learned this behavior. I think with him it is all intuitive. And, yes, he is playing and toying with everyone and knows exactly what he’s doing.

      “Chess is not a game for the impetuous.” No, but it is still a game, and whatever game Trump is playing, it’s deliberate, cool, planned. I said it last week here, that Trump gets out front and everyone just follows. He uses deliberate shock and awe in order to distract. You are always on the defensive; Trump is always on the offensive.

      Trump is stupid? We all have strengths. This is his.

      • D5-5
        February 12, 2017 at 12:39

        I by no means wanted to suggest Trump is stupid. But I very much doubt he’s a chess player. As to your view that Trump’s game is “deliberate, cool, planned” that may be true. There are indications he’s been working on this maneuver toward the presidency for a long time, as far back as 01. His transition teams were highly developed and detailed. And shock and awe is quite likely a tactic, as I suspect he used with China recently, apparently toward a “deal.” With Iran, now that he has Iranians demonstrating and calling out “Death to America!” and such, I’m not so sure. Or if so this is a gambler’s device so many parts bluster. There’s not a whole lot of bluster in chess, tho there certainly is deking. I appreciate your view and thank you for it. I’m not sure I agree he knows exactly what he’s doing, as with the fiasco on his travel ban and how that worked out, but he certainly is dangerous.

        • backwardsevolution
          February 12, 2017 at 17:09

          D5-5 – yes, after I posted my comment, I thought: I hope D5-5 doesn’t think I’m saying he thinks Trump is stupid. I know you didn’t say that. I was more referring to practically everyone else out there who think he is, though. He is anything, but.

          The point I was trying to make was that what appears impulsive and impetuous behavior is not. What Trump does is deliberate and purposeful. There might not be bluster in chess, but you can certainly deke your opponent out, and you can, as the article implies, put the other player on the defensive in a purposeful manner and keep him there. Trump takes the offensive always, a formidable opponent.

          And I think the court’s behavior with the Trump travel ban was purely political. Trump does have the authority to do what he did.

          “But in this case the statute has been on the books for decades (the 1950s, to be exact) and has been used in this exact context by a huge number of previous Presidents — including Obama. In fact when Obama suspended all immigration from Iraq he did so on this exact basis and with this exact statutory authority. When Jimmy Carter suspended all immigration from Iran he did so on the same basis, with the same authority and did not have to, nor did he even attempt to show that the suspension was due to threats of terrorism. In fact Carter’s suspension was a purely punitive act aimed at Iran for the actions some of their people took on their own soil. Yes, those actions were aimed at the United States (the taking of hostages in our embassy) but they took place there, not here. Nonetheless that action was both lawful and constitutional.”

          The countries that are on the list are countries with no functional governments. How can you accurately vet when you’re dealing with governments that are either destroyed or in disarray?

          “Trump’s order for the purpose of evaluating the means by which those people got into the country and to take whatever corrective actions are necessary to prevent repeats is not only logical, it’s legal under the authority delegated to him by Congress and expressed in US Code. That the 9th Circus deliberately ignored the clear text of that section of law because they didn’t like it and instead selected a section of law that does not bear on the issue is not “interpreting the law”, it is literally blacking out the sections of law they do not like, which is not within their Constitutional power — only Congress can do that through repealing said law.”

          Many think Trump is a loose cannon, but I disagree. I think he’s trying to give the government back to the people. Whether the people realize this or not is another story. Give him a chance. If in six month’s time we see otherwise, we can hammer him then.

          • February 14, 2017 at 16:40

            Trump does not “play”; he wins…at all cost…even cheating. Just like Obama: whatever he wins as president will be at the cost of innocent women and children, and men just trying to get on with some semblance of existence after any semblance of quality of life has been blown to pieces…literally blown to pieces by a fascist military regime. “Thank a veteran”, reads the bumper sticker; like the Morton County Sheriff’s department just did.

  15. Bill Bodden
    February 11, 2017 at 19:41

    These are the people who believe the United States is engaged in a war against radical Islam that is equivalent to World War II or the Cold War. They believe it is a struggle rooted in religion to which all else should be subservient — that America’s overwhelming focus must be on radical Islam instead of revisionist powers in Europe or Asia.

    Just what we need!! A bunch of Crusaders stirring up another religious war that will soak the deserts of the Middle East with blood and, probably, the streets of Paris, Brussels, Berlin – and Pennsylvania Avenue?

  16. Bill Bodden
    February 11, 2017 at 19:33

    It is now a commonplace to note that President Trump is advocating a mercantilist “America First” foreign policy, at odds with the prevailing globalist view of a cosmopolitan, super-culture; that he is intent on dismantling this globalist zeitgeist that he believes imposes moral and cultural norms which have weakened America’s mercantile “animal spirits” and whose embrace of the politics of diversity has sapped the strength from America’s moral and cultural sinews.

    What moral sinews? Except for America’s propagandists, who in U.S. government after Carter has exercised moral policies? With rare exceptions, morality has played no role in corporate (mercantilist) decisions.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 11, 2017 at 20:58

      In fact, one could argue that such “decisions” have been predominately immoral in basis and intent, no?

      • February 14, 2017 at 16:32

        Indeed, pray tell: what connections exist between American capitalism and “Judeo-Christian values”? Competition is the catalyst for American capitalism; cut throat competition!

  17. jo6pac
    February 11, 2017 at 18:30

    Thanks Alastair Crooke and time will tell.

  18. ranney
    February 11, 2017 at 17:05

    This article was a bit soporific until he got to the chess lesson. Boy did I ever wake up then!
    I’m no chess player but that was the best explanation of Trump’s actions and how the MSM is dealing with it I’ve seen. It hit the nail on the head. It would be nice to think someone high up in the media will read this, and send down messages to deal with this strategy, but I doubt it will happen. As Crooke says, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.

    • February 14, 2017 at 16:26

      Sad to hear how boring the analogy to Cromwell is and, indeed, how history is allowed to repeat itself by the duping of the American public time and time again. A chess player with no memory of the past will be doomed to being played by every opponent they encounter. Sound familiar?

  19. J'hon Doe II
    February 11, 2017 at 15:23

    “Trump’s own “America First” mercantilism” – is violently ignorant vis-a-vis US health care statistics. The impetuously imposed “travel ban” will have draconian effect on the saving of American lives by competent physicians who come here from ‘foreign’ countries.

    FYI — U.S. patients have lower mortality rates with foreign trained doctors.

  20. feliznavidad
    February 11, 2017 at 15:03

    PS I was trained by an African-American who was also a chess master. He taught me, “If it’s aggressive, it makes it.”

  21. feliznavidad
    February 11, 2017 at 15:02

    Astute. Thanks.

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