Trump’s Embattled ‘Revolution’

President Trump’s domestic “revolution” on behalf of “forgotten” Americans requires a complementary foreign policy of reduced warfare and a weaker dollar, explains ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

Pat Buchanan – perhaps the U.S. politician with the greatest feel (as a thrice-times U.S. presidential candidate himself) for what President Trump is trying to achieve – tells us compellingly, just why Trump is now the US President:

A sign supporting Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. June 18, 2016 (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

[Simply,] …“He [Trump], read the nation and the world, better than his rivals. He saw the surging power of American nationalism at home, and of ethno-nationalism in Europe. And he embraced Brexit. While our bipartisan establishment worships diversity, Trump saw Middle America recoiling from the demographic change brought about by Third World invasions. And he promised to curb them.

“While our corporatists burn incense at the shrine of the global economy, Trump went to visit the working-class casualties. And those forgotten Americans in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, responded. And while Bush II and President Obama plunged us into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Trump saw that his countrymen wanted to be rid of the endless wars, and start putting America first. [And] He offered a new foreign policy … Putin’s Russia is not ‘our number one geopolitical foe.’”

That’s it. That’s Trump’s domestic, and his foreign policy, in one.

What we all presently are obsessed with, is the bellicosity and hysteria to which Trump and his agenda has given rise: Is détente with Russia now effectively dead, as a consequence of the new Russo-phobic McCathyism? Or, is that which we are witnessing nothing more than “a mere tantrum by a clutch of ‘spooks’ whose jobs are under threat … along with the liberal press having a ‘parallel tantrum’: [not believing] that they lost the election to Donald Trump” – as one American commentator told MK Bhadrakumar? Or, are we seeing a brittle American Establishment splitting apart, in a more profound way?

We do not know the answer. The notion of removing Trump from office seems somewhat far-fetched (see here). Certainly, America is deeply divided: Trump plainly evokes strong, emotional reactions. Three-fourths of Americans react to him strongly – either positively or negatively.

The Pew Research Center’s latest survey shows that only eight percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents approve Trump’s job performance, which is the lowest rating for any new president from the opposing party in more than three decades. But interestingly, Pew also finds that 84 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners, regard Trump’s initial job performance as president “favorably.”

A Divided Administration

But then, Gilbert Doctorow relates, as the new Administration got underway, “came a stunning about-face in the early roll-out of Donald Trump’s new foreign policy, which looked a lot like Barack Obama’s old foreign policy. We heard presidential press secretary Sean Spicer say Trump ‘expected the Russian government to … return Crimea’ to Ukraine.

Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

“Then we heard Defense Secretary James Mattis in Brussels (NATO headquarters), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Bonn (G20 Foreign Ministers meeting) and Vice President Pence in Munich (Security Conference) collectively pledge unswerving loyalty to the NATO alliance, insist that any new talks with Russia must be conducted from ‘a position of strength,’ and vow to hold Russia accountable for the full implementation of the Minsk Accords, meaning all sanctions stay in place pending that achievement which the Ukrainian government has consistently blocked, while blaming Moscow.

“Amid these signals of surrender from the Trump Administration – suggesting continuation of the disastrous foreign policy of the last 25 years – the newly revived enemies of détente on Capitol Hill added more anti-Russian sanctions and threats. In response to alleged violations by the Kremlin of the Treaty on Intermediate and Short-range Missiles (INF) dating back to 1987, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, introduced a bill enabling the re-installation of American nuclear-tipped cruise missiles in Europe. If enacted, this would undo the main achievements of disarmament from the Reagan years, and bring us back to a full-blown Cold War.”

This has unnerved Trump supporters; apparently disappointed some in Moscow; and also failed to reassure anxious Europeans at the Munich Security Conference. They are puzzling over which Administration faction to believe more correctly reflects future U.S. policy: the Pence/Mattis/Haley ‘wing’, that Europeans would like to hope is dominant; or, the Trump/Bannon/Miller triumvirate, which Steve Bannon hints views the European Union as a flawed construct, and who foresees conducting future relations with Europe, on a bilateral basis.

Which of these two, reflects America’s likely path, more accurately? Has the Establishment now succeeded in walking-back Trump’s agenda? Who now speaks for the President?

The answer is not hard to fathom: return to Pat Buchanan’s clear explanation of how Trump became President: “He saw the surging power of American nationalism at home, and of ethno-nationalism in Europe. And he embraced Brexit. While our bipartisan establishment worships diversity, Trump saw Middle America recoiling from the demographic change, brought about by Third World invasions. And he promised to curb them.”

Obviously, it is the Trump-Bannon wing. Were Trump to abandon his reading of the nation and of the Europeans that brought him to the Presidency, he might as well throw in the towel now. He will not be re-elected.

Weakening the Dollar

And Mr. Trump is showing no signs of reversing (for all the mixed messaging that has emanated from his diverse team). So, back to basics. What then is his foreign policy? Simply this: If President Trump wishes to keep his 84 percent (Republican) approval rating – and stay elected – there is only one way that he can do that: he must continue to carry “the working-class casualties and those forgotten Americans” (as Buchanan called them) of the Midwest, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads “Vote Trump” on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

And the only way to do that is to bring back manufacturing jobs to this (white), Middle America, (hurting) constituency. And the only way you can bring those jobs back, is with a weak dollar. A strong dollar would be deadly to Trump’s project.

Today, the dollar is too strong to allow any real return of manufacturing to the U.S. Trump needs to staunch any propensity for the dollar to rise. And, in his very first interview upon taking office (with the Wall Street Journal), Trump’s main point, was that he wanted the U.S. dollar “down.”

Here it is, then: Trump’s main foreign policy objective is the return of jobs to Middle America – and that means, in practical terms, avoiding a strong dollar. Secondly, the ultimate point of détente with Russia – apart from Trump’s reading that Middle America is experiencing war fatigue – is that détente can release a “peace dividend” which would be vital for the task of rebuilding America’s frayed infrastructure. (His tax proposals ultimately will have to be revenue neutral if Trump is to avoid an ugly row with his Tea Party supporters, who are aggressively fiscal conservative.)

Again, détente with Russia is a domestic need, required to attend to the re-building of the frayed structures of the communities who voted him into office. It is not anchored in any particular foreign policy ideology, but merely in a sense of peoples’ fatigue.

Of course, wanting a weaker dollar and wanting détente with Russia, does not mean that Trump will get either; he will continue to face stiff internal resistance and filibustering. But these two aims, as it were, may be seen to constitute the overriding prism by which Trump views his foreign policy aims, in the longer term.

In the shorter term – perhaps – what we are seeing now, is a tactical pause, dictated by the malicious leaks from within the system, and by the unrelenting “war” being waged by the mainstream media – a pause to allow Trump to get on with sorting out his Administration – purging the leaks, putting in place his people, and contending with certain of the mainstream media.

It seems the purge is slowly happening (it must be a huge process, and be imposing a heavy demand on time). It is however, simply not very realistic for Trump to pursue an accord with either Russia or China while he is under siege, and when his very survival is being widely questioned. And, as is now widely known, Trump believes in negotiating from a position of strength, and not weakness. Pence and Mattis may well have been dispatched to Europe to apply some anaesthetizing balm, while the difficulties of the first month are being resolved.

So, how might this “foreign policy” be conducted in practice? Well, if Trump were to impose protectionist measures on other states (China, say), this would likely result in their currencies depreciating, as a consequence. A 30 percent tax might result in a 30 percent currency devaluation. We have seen something of the sort happening with the peso, in the case of Mexico. And, ipso facto, if the Mexican or Chinese currency weakens, the dollar appreciates (thus weakening U.S. capacity to compete).

There are two possible routes ahead: one is for Trump to negotiate bilaterally with (say) Germany, Japan, China and others, to warn them that either they revalue their currencies (or, at minimum, hold their foreign exchange value stable), or else to suffer the consequences of a U.S.-imposed protectionism, which would badly damage the health of their economies.

Or, Trump can revert to the Reagan tactic of the mid-1980s, when the then the U.S. President pulled together all the main global central banks and finance ministers in Paris, to instruct that the dollar was not to be allowed to rise in value any further (after its rapid appreciation in the early 1980s). This was known as the “Plaza Accord.”

Going with ‘Bilateralism’

It seems that Trump will pursue the first course (bilateralism), as he has already made it clear that he wants to negotiate on a fuller field than just the stability of foreign exchange values. Specific trade deals, and inward investment into the U.S., will be on the agenda – as well as his declared aim of leveraging U.S. defense provision as a bilaterally negotiated quid pro quo, in return further economic benefit to the U.S. – rather than having the U.S. defense umbrella being provided as a highly subsidized “good.”

President-elect Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence thank their supporters for the upset victory on Nov. 8, 2016. (Photo from donaldjtrump.com)

The implications of this bilateral approach are significant. It does not imply, per se, that Trump should want to split Russia from China. Trump, by his own logic, would not want, ultimately, to resort to protectionism against China (other than as a negotiating ploy). Imposing punitive tariffs on China would likely lead to a strengthening of the dollar, and risk a devaluation of the yuan – even possibly a maxi-devaluation of the yuan. Rather, he wants a deal. One that would bring additional jobs and Chinese infrastructure investment to America.

The notion that America needs to divide Russia from China (or Iran) for strategic reasons (though one probably embraced by some of his team) is essentially “old think.” It belongs to the neoconservative era, which held that America must remain as a global defense and financial hegemon. And therefore must contain and weaken any contending rising power.

Russia will not, in any case, break with China. But in the Trumpian logic, why should that matter, so long as Trump has achieved satisfactory commercial deals with each? (Kissinger though, may try to persuade Trump otherwise.)

Again, pursuing the war on radical Islam (for which Trump has called for proposals from the Pentagon) would not necessarily call for decisive military U.S. interventions in the Middle East, on this logic. A change in policy, and in ethos, by a reformed CIA – away from using radical Islam as “a tool” by which to pursue its “interests” (as it has from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Syria in recent years), would in and of itself, bring about a profound change. It would quickly percolate through to European intelligence services – and more slowly – marinate Gulf thinking.

Changing the ‘Group Think’

Pat Lang, a former senior U.S. Defense Intelligence officer, notes how a small shift in bureaucratic “group think” from one paradigm to another can bring crucial change, simply by virtue of approaching a problem from a different direction:

A protest placard in the Kafersousah neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, on Dec. 26, 2012. (Photo credit: Freedom House Flickr)

“1. General Dunford, USMC, the uniformed head of the US armed forces, is meeting the week at Baku in Azarbaijan with General Gerasimov, the head of the Russian General Staff.

“2.  My sources tell me that US and Russian air forces are increasingly coordinating and de-conflicting their air actions in Syria and Iraq.  This can clearly be seen in USAF and US Navy air attacks on ‘moderate’ (in fact jihadi forces) in Idlib Province. These obviously have been coordinated with Russian air defenses.

“3.  The CIA has stopped providing assistance to aforesaid ‘moderate’ jihadi and FSA forces in Syria. They would not have done that without instructions from outside and above CIA. 

All of that tells me that sanity reigns in the Trump Administration no matter what lunatics like Schumer, Waters and McCain may do, think or say.”  (emphasis added).

What then are the major risks to the Trump “paradigm”? They are not negligible. Any increase in international tension usually will lead to a flight to the “safety” of the U.S. dollar – thus to a “strengthening” of the dollar. (One good reason why Trump may stick with rhetoric against Iran, rather than action).

Secondly, although Trump has been trying to “talk down” the value of the U.S. dollar, most of his policies (de-offshoring of corporate cash, de-regulation and tax cuts) are seen as inflationary – and therefore are pushing the dollar upwards. So, too, are pronouncements by the Federal Reserve about the prospects for an interest rate hike next month. It is not clear that Trump will be able to keep the dollar weak, against a general sense that interest rates are heading upwards. David Stockman’s inflation index for the U.S., which uses more realistic values for energy, food, shelter and medical insurance than the official CPI index, is now rising at better than a 4 percent annual rate.

And thirdly, China may yet undo Trump’s plans. As one well-versed economic commentator notes:

“I strongly contend that a more than one-half Trillion ($) one-month Chinese Credit expansion in early 2017 will exert divergent inflationary impacts to those from early 2016…

“Inflationary biases evolve significantly over time…Liquidity will tend to further inflate the already inflating asset class(s); ‘hot money’ will chase the hottest speculative Bubble. Inflationary surges in Credit growth can, as well, have profoundly different impacts depending on inflationary expectations, economic structure and the nature of financial flows.

“I would argue that Chinese officials today face a more daunting task of containing mounting financial leverage and imbalances than just a few months ago. The clock continues to tick, with rising odds that Beijing will be forced to take the types of forceful measures that risk an accident.”

These inflationary risks threaten Trump, more than the unlikely prospect of impeachment. He has been consistent in warning that whomsoever won this Presidential election, would, sooner or later, face a financial crisis – and then possibly a concomitant social crisis. Like most revolutions, Trump’s revolution cannot afford to stand still: if it cannot, or does not, go forward, it will go backwards.  We will return to the past. Trump, no doubt, grasps this.

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.

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43 comments for “Trump’s Embattled ‘Revolution’

  1. Joe J Tedesky
    February 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Trump’s win is due to the lack of voters not due to an overwhelming majority. Hillary and her cheaters by sabotaging the Sanders campaign all but handed Donakd Trump the presidency. The only thing notable about Trump’s win was his Rust Belt strategy, and with that his campaign may be praised.

    The MSM is now suffering from the lack of reader confidence. If the media had been more honest and objective all along it would now have the support of the reading public, and viewing audience as well. The Trump people saw a weak spot in the media, and twisted the media weak spot into submission.

    I don’t expect to see much good come out of Trump’s foreign policy, since I’m no fan of Henry Kissenger. The cleverness being employed towards Russia will not work, because the Russians are not fools.

    In the end there is nothing here to have hope for a better world, and a more sensible American foreign policy to evolve into. In fact it appears that America has put in office it’s most dangerous group of warriors to date yet.

    • February 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      “Hilary and her cheaters…”:Naming, in particular, Barack Husein Obama and his wife Michele. Sold out again for the show of clowns.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        You are right, that Obama endorsement of Hillary wasn’t much of a help either. In fact our American Establishment and our institutions have been so throughly corrupted by special interest that the public backlash has now put Donald Trump in office as a result of that corruption. Blame it all on who ever you like, but in the end it all comes out to be the same, the end of a dying empire that strangled itself in delusional lies.

        • Fred V
          February 25, 2017 at 7:58 pm

          Yes, it is hard to believe that the US without mass media could have “strangled itself in delusional lies.” And a mass media and elections owned by oligarchy made those delusions its own lies. The sooner that empire goes down, by whatever means, the sooner the people thereof will prosper in peace. Nothing that would be likely to replace it could be worse.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 26, 2017 at 2:19 am

            I have and will continue to slam our MSM. Our media without a doubt has brought the American public to this place where now no one knows what is real or fake news.

            I always think back to the assassination era of the sixties, starting with JFK and how our media has covered up and obscured the real facts for the purpose of aiding our government in selling the American people on whatever series of lies they needed too to get full advantage of the narrative. I realize the U.S. has used propaganda ever since the American Revolution, but for the sake of this comment I’m referring to more modern times.

            What I’m growing tired of is this false belief that Donald Trump at this current moment in time, because others have done what he is now doing, is going to do something right by the American people. If anything he is driving our society further apart. I don’t believe he has control over his foreign policy, but yes by all means we should make peace with Russia, along with many others. I’ll never wish it had been Hillary over anyone, but I don’t think Trump is the answer.

            I’m also not going to argue with anyone who wishes to believe in Donald Trump. Instead I will support their right to put their faith in something or someone. America is in a sad place right now, and we all could use a hero…so forgive me, but I can’t go on defending the indefensible.

            Thanks for your reply.

    • February 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Tedesky, the most dangerous warriors are NOT
      The Donald and his inner circle, but John McCain, Charles
      Schumer and the entire “Democratic” Establishment Goons,
      along with the New York Times, Washington post, CNN,
      MsNBC or MSDNC, the Rachel Maddows, Krugmans,Kristofs,
      and all their cohorts who Demonize Russia and continue
      to feed the American Gullible Identity-Idiots the kind of
      Nonsense Fables like “Russia invaded the Ukraine, or invaded
      Crimea” when nothing could be further from the Truth,
      which is that the USA engineered an overthrow of the
      Democratically Elected Government in Ukraine, carried out by
      Neo-Nazis who are now in the new “Government”,
      and the citizens of Eastern Ukraine revolted against this
      Neo-Nazi Government, and the Crimeans voted overwhelmingly,
      97% !!!, to rejoin Russia. That’s the Truth. But the American
      Establishment Malevolent Maniacs feed the huge number
      of Ignorant Morons these Fairy Tales, and the Morons
      mindlessly Eat It All. And so now all of Humanity has got to be
      to be considered an Endangered Species, not only due to
      Climate Change, but also due to American Insanity leading to
      Nuclear War.

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Read the part where I spoke to the MSM. Also McCain and company maybe more on board with McMasters and Mattis, than you realize. The line you see is as fake as the news you read. Trump will keep you busy with with diversionary rants and tweets while his Pence side of his Adminstration will certainly not bring peace to this warring world. You go ahead and continue to support Trump, and let’s both hope I’m wrong, but if it turns out that I’m right will you concede to my opinion?

        • February 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

          Tedesky, I’m NOT in this game of “For The Donald” or
          “Against The Donald”. I’m just reinforcing what Alastaire Crooke
          says in his article. The fact that The Donald said he wanted good
          relations with Russia, and the Establishment reacted with an
          Hysterical Fake News Onslaught about Russia-Donald “Stealing
          the Election” with” Collusion Between Them”, or “Russia Invaded
          Crimea !” (or, in Maxine Waters’ words: “Russia invaded Korea!!!”)
          and “The American citizens need to know if Our Chief Executive
          is with Us or with the Russians ! “, well, that is all NOT the doings
          of The Donald, but of the War-Making-Armaments-Industry-Global-
          Domination-Forces of the USA. And yes, those Mad Dogs exist
          and flourish in Every Administration. And the fact remains that any
          Chief Executive who tries, even minimally, to challenge those
          Forces, will always be Demonized, and/or Threatened, and/or
          “Corrected”, in one way or another, by those “Establishment Forces”.

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            Orwell you are determined to blame one side. Don’t put too much hope in the Donald he isn’t what you think he is. Read what Mike Whitney has to say about McMasters. I agree that our MSM and people such as McCain are a problem. I’m totally on board that the Democrate war against Putin is pitiful and wrong, but when both sides of the coin are the same there is little hope for any alternative solution.

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/mcmaster-takes-charge-trump-relinquishes-control-of-foreign-policy/

            We are still heading in the wrong direction with our foreign policy, while our domestic policy is taking a curve towards an alt-right agenda. Good luck, again I hope you placed your money on the right horse, and that I am proven wrong. I won’t mind being wrong on this one.

    • Peter Loeb
      February 26, 2017 at 7:48 am

      WHERE’S THE MONEY?….

      Alistair Crooke’s essay stands out for its understanding of economic
      facts in Donald Trump’s commitments both in domestic and
      (he thinks) in foreign relations.

      I strongly recommend a through scrutiny of the works of
      Dr. Jack Rasmus. Without being able to predict, a summary
      by this non-economist would be that manufacturing jobs
      will not return to the dust belt of the USA. Not now, not
      ever. Not by Republicans. Not b y Democrats.(Pick your
      flavor!)

      One is convinced that US residents wish that the job
      situation would be just the way it always was. Rasmus describes
      why this will never happen. Read, for example, SYSTEMIC
      FRAGILITY IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY(2016).

      Donald Trump’s speech to CPAC (the Conservative
      PAC) is just another version of his stump speeches of
      2016, While Rasmus does not take up Trump per se
      it is obvious to this reader that much of his critique
      fits the Trump domestic policy “shoe”. (from “If the shoe
      fits, wear it!”)

      In the 20th and now in the 21st century, the shoe does
      not fit at all.

      The clear hate speech of Mr. Trump fails to address the
      economic realities which lead to it. While that is (almost)
      another story, Jack Rasmus analysis certainly casts
      everything in a whole new light.

      Put more simply, where will many of us be when the
      economic promises part of Trump’s house of cards
      fall flat?

      Like many radical analysts in various fields, Rasmus
      chooses to state what is.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
      .

      • Joe J Tedesky
        February 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

        Peter I told my story about our family owned business buying American tooling to continue manufacturing product here in the U.S.. Realizing how the not so popular product which still had an industrial need would not be continued to be made when the manufacturer who we purchased the tooling from went off shore, is what we went after. Our continuing to have this kind of product to be made available has done a great job for us. Our product allows many American vendors to keep Americans employed. This product of ours is even big on the export market. China happens to be a big customer for our export distributors.

        Here’s what I do know. The very large conglomerate manufacture hates American labor. Why, because of the unions. Another big reason is American corporations don’t like providing healthcare benefits, and they hate any liability from in plant goods, and they truly disapprove of all compensation contributions they must make towards their own employees. The corporations prefer to out source because outsourcing produces an invoice, whereas paying labor is a headache. They want to buy it off the shelf and then put their name on it, and then charge you what it would have cost if made in America, and then report huge profits to their shareholders.

        Don’t let anyone kid you, if these corporations wanted to they could manufacturer many products here and you wouldn’t know the difference in price. What would happen in this case is the corporation would have a cut in profit if they were to do as I just said. Mostly all of this is due to a high dollar valuation which they need to keep since that’s what keeps America on top with it’s military spending. The downsizing of the American work force was set in place long ago, and it was managements way of proving to the worker just who’s in charge.

        It’s never been about what’s good for the American people, instead it has always been about what’s good for the American oligarchy.

        • Peter Loeb
          February 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

          Dear Joe J. Tedesky,

          (I liked just “Joe Tedesky” better but then…)

          You would be interested in a book by Louis Uchitelle,

          THE DISPOSABLE AMERICAN.

          The dismantling of a tool and dye plant is only one of its very
          brilliant ways for everyone to comprehend what it means to
          workers on a variety of income levels. “Up close and personal.”

          Jack Rasmus books supply the descriptions of how our
          economic systems work and fail to work in the 20th
          and 21rst century.

          Thanks for your support. Flattery will (almost) get you
          anywhere. —Peter Loeb

          • Joe J Tedesky
            February 26, 2017 at 9:24 pm

            That middle initial ‘J’ thing is because about three weeks ago for some odd reason my comments wouldn’t post any other way….I like just Joe Tedesky too, and so does my wife….always an education to read your comments Peter…stay well Joe Tedesky

      • David Smith
        February 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        J.J. Tedesky, a superb comment. I remember your original telling of your made-in-USA story, you must retell it from time to time to remind everyone of reality. It jogged a memory from 1962, when I turned 5 years old. I remember the first made-in-Japan toys appearing, which were crude garbage. But they were replacing the made-in-USA toys, which were beautifully detailed, superior in every way. Even my five year old brain knew something very wrong for America was taking shape.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 26, 2017 at 10:06 pm

          Thank you David. Remember the larger these companies got by being bought out under big conglomerates the more these manufacturers were forced to only sell the most popular items, sometimes know as ‘A’ product.

          What we did was buy the lesser popular products dies, tooling, and molds, for the market which demands them. Funny thing is that these items are the captive products which when used in industrial applications it pretty well assures you a long time of repeat sales. Although this kind of product sells in a much smaller volume, it makes up for itself due to the products needs and demands of a market which requires quality and reliability…China is a big market for us as well.

          Over the years the big manufacturers started outsourcing their manufacturing needs to outside smaller companies. So basically we purchased a vendor list who retains our tooling, molds, etc., and thus we bring each component in and assemble the final product. We sometimes outsource assembly on products, but everything is done by U.S. Workers.

          As usual I’m getting long winded and I don’t wish to bore you with too much detail, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Thanks again David I truly appreciate the toy soldier story since I recall as a boy my grandma would bring out the tin where she had saved my uncles little toy soldiers for me to play with, and yes the detail was superb, nothing like it since. Craftsmanship like none other, or ever again, unless you decide to make them David.

          Joe

  2. Bill Bodden
    February 25, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    There is one point that this article makes clear – complexity at home and abroad is abundant at a time when there is reason to question whether the players steering the various ships of state are up to the task.

  3. Gilligan Ilander
    February 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    President McKinley shot dead in his first year of his 2nd term–do you remember?

    Can you detect any parallels to today?

    After the Civil War the United States was broken for over 25 years, and the two party system was a very suspicious set of snake eyes among the population that survived the decimating death toll and bankrupting effect on the U.S. Treasury, of the Civil War, and it continued on with their children. For over 35 years there was a cry for a Third Party system, called Progressives at first, and for even more parties from which to choose. The Democrats were the least favored party by the People, and not until the forthcoming massive Jewish and Catholic immigration, did the Democrats come from way behind after decades at the polls and successfully change their platform to “pro-immigration”. Republican Progressive President McKinley https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McKinley in his first year of his 2nd term, many historians argue, was popular with the working man, he was pro-union and against strike breakers used by the Democrats in those days, and he insisted strongly that U.S. stay on the Gold Standard for its national Treasury and he secured the Gold Standard Act, and he was anti-war and anti-outsourcing [i.e. protectionist tariffs on imported foreign goods].

    Guess what? He was shot in the gut by a deranged unemployed immigrant steel worker and the bullet was “never found”. He was from the start left in a rural clinic with no doctors on the staff for hours and hours until too late, sepsis set in, and the president died ten days later of gangrene, but was drowned out of history by the loud and well heeled and elite connected former vice president Teddy Roosevelt, who not only carried a big stick for imperialism as the lucky new president, due to the assassination of McKinnley, he also had in his Van Rosenvelt family dynasty lots of newspaper editors to champion his grandiosity. This was before the internet and the emergence of today’s coincidence research investigators [aka –by their detractors called– conspiracy theorists] to be a kind of checks-and-balances on William Randolph Hearst form of media monopolies that dominated the news then like they do again today.

    The Democrats were led for over 20 years by the founder of state by state “stumping,” William Jennings Bryan, a master masonic 33 degree who detested alcohol and was rabidly Prohibition, and who also denounced Darwinism as a blight on strict Presbyterian Christian values. His stumping style is why we have such a long protracted and rather meaningless campaign tradition today. William Jennings Bryan had been also exceedingly enthusiastic about America’s involvement in the Spanish-American War despite his “pacifism”. Bryan also formed a powerful alliance in 1900 with Andrew Carnegie to make silver the standard of the Treasury and not gold. Journalist H. L. Mencken, disliked Bryan intensely. L. Frank Baum satirized Bryan as the Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. Bryan was the first of the 20th century “celebrity politicians”, better known for their personalities and communications skills than their political views. Bryan was never comfortable with the black community, and attacked Republican Roosevelt in 1904 for inviting Booker T. Washington to the White House. Not until Woodrow Wilson, was his often distrusted by the people, Democratic Party, swept into office by the weight of the expanding and hefty new immigrant vote.

    This killed the third party hopes of the people for all time and the Democratic party had a new theme to keep them in power as long as possible, immigrants and ‘protecting’ the population from big business predators. Woodrow Wilson, a democrat, was president during the notorious federal strike breaking violent era of the half a decade of coal miners and steel mills and meat packing slaughterhouses unionization efforts and the hostile and deadly use of federal force against them. https://libcom.org/history/us-miners-strikes-1919-1922-jeremy-brecher

    Nowadays much of this line of U.S. history parallels many current events once again. I am now certain that the United States has been betrayed by its own rich and that because globalism is the enemy of nationalism and sovereignty [except for Israel, the only nation allowed to be a theocracy and an army with absolutely no checks and balances from outside], the .1% global elite decided to sacrifice the U.S. and establish power bases elsewhere dotting the globe, and to penetrate and leverage themselves into the New China Dragon boom of the coming centuries.

    I don’t know why people today don’t question things more! The narrative given to us is phooey.

    It is a waste of time, really, condemning Trump and taking swipes at Trump 24/7, as if things were not just as bad with Obama team of choosing by Rahm Israel Emanuel, in his first hundred days, for a completely different set of surface reasons. This same demonization of Trump has been used against both Putin and Assad, and the reality of their lives and national history in the western Reuters friendly network media is hardly in any way congruent with the facts. Ironically, never has one man in modern U.S. history ever had so much imagined power alone, as assumed in the media frenzy today against Trump. The real problem is the two party system and the choke hold on both parties by the powerful lobbies and AIPAC, the master lobby. I have lived in the Putin and Assad orbit of the globe for ten years, and the media demonization is without any solid basis on Putin and Assad. If Trump is so easy to malign, why did this persecution not happen earlier in order to prevent his rise to the top of the Republican Party? Why did his own party not block him?

    Almost any new Republican president will stack the Cabinet with generals from the military and powerful businessmen in Oil and Weapons and Aerospace and Pharma. Blatantly, and not so obscurely like Obama did, who as a democrat and he was a little different in that he empowered his many generals from within the intelligence community rather than from the old fashioned soldiering military. Even back in the time leading up to and including the rule of Teddy Roosevelt [many historians today claim William McKinley was the real Trust Buster and Teddy merely copied him superficially to gain popularity]. Teddy Roosevelt’s immensely wealthy Van Rosenvelt family had much power in the press and military at that time. McKinley kept the US on the gold standard against many forces trying to repeal the practice, and he helped labor and got us out of the Spanish American War with a victory. His reforms may have got him killed via a conspiracy against him, like what happened to Lincoln & JFK. I am really surprised there have not been movies and TV series made on this time in U.S. history that rivals the popularity of HOMELAND, a mostly Israeli contrived TV series to inflame distrust of Iran, another country unjustly demonized.

    I think i am correct to say as a hobby historian that during McKinley’s era the Republican Party was the one that had been anti-slavery, and progressive, like it had been during Lincoln’s presidency. The then progressive Republicans took on strikebreakers to defend coal miners during McKinley’s rule. McKinley was against “free” money printed as easily as ad coupons like the Fed Reserve prints today, without any backing whatsoever, not even property as collateral. He was anti-war and he advocated stiff tariffs on cheap foreign imports so that all the American workers could sell their products to other Americans [exactly what China has been doing for the last five years]. The Democrats of that era were filthy dirty and it was them who invented gerrymandering and they also hired salesmen to go door to door selling goods at double the price, and when the wife of the family at the door got annoyed and disinterested by this obvious doubled price, these vendors who were paid by the democrats, did exclaim with an Obama look of sincerity, “what can we do, this is all due to the tariffs of McKinley!”

    Does this ring any bells today?

  4. D5-5
    February 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Another view of the Trump administration and why it’s confusing everyone:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-24/three-trump-administrations

  5. J'hon Doe II
    February 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    “changing the group-think”

    Rationality has been Inhaled and exhaled into DNA
    cauterizing breath-a-lizers
    capable of cauterizing
    air-molecules in a generalized static area. —

    all of this accomplished
    via salute the flag commercialization
    of the organization of Self-Preservation?

    Darwin was the Species Specialist
    who got lost inside his own aspect of
    self-preservation,and we seemed
    programed to ‘follow his lead’

    into ideas of superiority of species;
    of which he is inspirationally correct:

    as in this clar-i-tive sample

    More than a century after the destruction of the original Reconstruction,
    Trump and the GOP have returned
    to the same dual strategy of voter suppression
    and the politics of racial resentment to block liberal advances or a biracial coalition.

    Oh Say Can You See / by the dawns early light?

  6. D5-5
    February 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    The thesis of this piece appears to be its opening sentence, with Trump needing to reduce foreign warfare and contrive a weaker dollar. The remarks, on the other hand, seem to suggest this isn’t going to happen, or is dubious (plus we have Iran bashing and hand back Crimea), so I’m having difficulty being convinced, or clear, on where the argument is credible. On the other hand, the three Trump administrations in the zerohedge post suggest confusion and ineptitude, not a brilliant Trump straightening out the mess.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-24/three-trump-administrations

  7. February 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Whether you approve of Trump or disapprove, it has to be admitted that the establishment and its corporate media are ganging up on him. How it will end remains to be seen. The man is a fighter, that’s for sure.

    “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.
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/the-ganging-up-on-donald-trump.html

  8. Drew Hunkins
    February 25, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    The always astute Mr. Crooke points out: “President Obama plunged us into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Trump saw that his countrymen wanted to be rid of the endless wars, and start putting America first. [And] He offered a new foreign policy … Putin’s Russia is not ‘our number one geopolitical foe.’””

    A few weeks ago I was mocked and ridiculed over on Commondreams.org for not being a Putin hater, and in fact, now and then having a few kind words to say about Putin. Some of my fellow commenters on Commondreams simply would not countenance that Putin’s not the personification of the Devil himself and therefore would heap scorn my way for not genuflecting to that orthodoxy. Feeling it’s time I defend myself, here are a few reasons why I not infrequently have some positive things to say about Putin and certainly don’t fall for all the incessant and absurd vilification of Putin that’s melding certain factions of the right and left:

    Putin’s presided over a nation-state that over the last 15 years has, in general:

    1.) Acted somewhat as a bulwark of sorts to Washington-militarist-imperialist aggression (of course, not successful at all times, that’s for sure).
    2.) Decreased the unemployment rate from what existed under the Yeltsin kleptocracy of the 1990s.
    3.) Decreased the general mortality rate from what existed under the Yeltsin kleptocracy of the 1990s.
    4.) Decreased the infant mortality rate from what existed under the Yeltsin kleptocracy of the 1990s.
    5.) Decreased the poverty rate from what existed unde the Yeltsin kleptocracy of the 1990s.
    6.) National single-payer health insurance for every single Russian citizen; something millions of Americans can only hope for as they wait in line in bankruptcy court.
    7.) Deliberately and somewhat effectively targeted al-Qeada-ISIS and the Saudi Terror Network.
    8.) Denounced the fascist coup and subsequent fascist gov’t of Kiev that Washington-Zio imperialists fomented and installed.
    9.) Witnessed rising wages and salaries fo the vast majority of the working class masses.
    10.) Prosecuted and jailed several internationally connected mobster-oligarchs who had previously pillaged and plundered Russian state-owned enterprises and who had exploited and victimized vast swaths of the Russian population during the 1990s gangster kleptocracy.

    So forgive me if I don’t immediately bow down to whatever WaPo, NPR, PBS News Hour, CNN and the Times have to say about the evil madman Putin.

    • Miranda Keefe
      February 25, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      I’m LibWingofLibWing over there at Common Dreams.

      The Clintonistas long ago took over the articles at CD. Now they are finishing up the taking over the comments section. They use hateful, mocking, domination posting techniques to run out all who aren’t totally sold out to their corporatist NeoLiberal establishment party system and their gung-ho foreign imperialism.

      I bother posting there less and less.

      • Drew Hunkins
        February 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        Thanks for the valuable info Mr. Keefe.

        • Drew Hunkins
          February 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm

          Whoops, meant to write: Ms. Keefe. Thanks again. And sorry for the typo.

  9. February 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Alastair Cooke’s very good piece clearly shows what a muddle things have become. And thanks to Gilligan Islander, I must review the McKinley era. But on why the GOP didn’t block Trump, I wonder, was it the media that allowed his ascendancy, and now that he has won, they’re doing just the reverse, tearing him down? And media definitely upholds the power structure, which does not want him to succeed. Besides that, the Democrat voters who see only Trump as the problem, not the entire power structure, give the MSM a lot of sauce to pile on, including the non-stop “it’s Russia’s fault”. What a mess and it’s dangerous, too. And every one of us has to speak up in conversations to expose the truth. I would like to see a “Stop the Russia Hysteria” movement in action to counter the endless barrage of lies flowing daily from MSM, “Mad Dog” Maddow apparently being top of that food chain. (I have no TV so only get National Propaganda Radio, which I bleep off when I hear a lie coming.)

    • Brad Owen
      February 26, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Why the build-up and subsequent tear-down? It may be the Clintonites leaned on their Establishment connections to select Trump for the “boxing match”, believing he was easy to beat (since the Establishment’s other dynasty—Bush—was going nowhere). They miscalculated how deeply hated they were in the rust belt, since they destroyed all things FDR/JFK about the D Party, turning it into just another Wall Street party with close ties to the MIIC.

  10. Jurgen
    February 25, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you for a great article, Mr. Crooke.
    I mostly enjoy reading Pat’s website and he is one of few US politicians who’s been consistently advocating US-Russia detente for many years, besides Pat’s quite witty and knows Russian History pretty well, and besides his attitude towards Putin somewhat similar to Trump’s.

  11. February 26, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I’m amazed at Mr. Cooke’s assurances of Trump’s and Buchanan’s intelligence. His point in believing Trump actually read the tea leaves correctly is preposterous. It’s revisionist poppycock. He was lucky. The Trump campaign manipulated a fearful, white and sadly racist demographic in America who they hoped would come out to vote because they are scared shitless of diversity. With the help of Republican gerrymandering and last minute voter suppression they did. Make America Great Again is Make America White Again. Those are the facts. Let’s call it like it is. Trump’s coziness with Russia is purely for financial gain for the Corporate Deep State. I’m floored by many of the comments here that are obviously written by intelligent people who ignore Trump’s assault on basic fundamental liberties and decency. All because he wants to “get along” with Russia?

    WTF is this bringing back manufacturing jobs? For how long. 4 years? Unless the white male over 35 craving a job in an auto plant is going back to school to learn some serious advanced automation than he is screwed. And what about all those men in WV and Kentucky who believed coal was coming back? That alone is criminal. I don’t give a shit about Putin. I hope the Russian people kick his sorry ass out and I sure as hell don’t want Russian oil warming our planet. Does anyone on this website believe in climate change?!

    The truth on the ground is Americans feel way less safe under Trump than anytime in recent memory. He threatens EVERYONE who is not white and does not play golf. Yes our MSM is biased and corrupt and the neocons are dangerous as fuck but to move the country in a direction of white apartheid, because that is where its going, is disastrous.
    America is the most diverse republic on earth and will continue to be even more so no matter how much white America tries to stop it. He will not outsmart the Chinese, that is for sure and the Mexicans will flip him a giant bird. They may suffer but they also are way tougher than most entitled Americans. (also, like a poorer Mexico is a good idea Trump).

    Please Mr. Cooke, explain how a movement embracing fear, hatred and self centeredness will sustain itself with out eventually turning and feasting on its young?

    • Gregory Herr
      February 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Speaking of ignoring the “assault on basic fundamental liberties and decency” …been going on a while, but now of course it’s all on account of Trump? And I think your characterization of Trump voters is overdone. This phoney partisan divide that people continue to insist on living in won’t amount to anything constructive. We have to itemize, not politicize.

    • David Smith
      February 26, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Louder and funnier, Peter. Now I finally get it, “white people” are the problem. Perhaps you can help this “old white man” who is not as smart as the Chinese and not as tough as a Mexican, what is “non-white”?

      • February 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        Well David, I actually think it is particular white people, those who are afraid of skin color other than caucasian, that are the problem. To say race is not the number one factor in all human suffering throughout history is wrong and we are no closer today in realizing its terror and destructiveness. Trump and Bannon are not hiding anything. Their movement is about preserving white christian power from the perceived threat of outside cultures. Their attempt at this plan involves trying to close off the world both literally and existentially, restarting the economy through fossil fuel expansion while delegitimizing climate science and expanding conventional and nuclear military spending in the name of white nationalism. All the while supporting Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, giving the Saudi’s free reign in supporting and funding terrorists and blaming Iran for all the problems in the Middle East. Yea, I’m not really down with these white folks.

        • David Smith
          March 5, 2017 at 3:37 am

          What is “non-white”?

    • Jurgen
      February 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Yet another example of arrogant and ignorant snobby Hollywood clown’s drivel:
      terrible-trailerwhitetrash-terrible-putin-trump-russia-trump-putin-trump-whitetrash-russia-trump-ilovediversity-iamnotlikeyou etc., etc.,etc.

      I am sure, Petersen, we are going to see dozens of Syrian refugees and Mexican Hollywood janitors
      invited by your types to celebrate Oscar nominations all mixed together with diversity-in-theory loving tuxedo and diamonds wearing haughty demagogues and hippocratic moralist snowflakes.

      Besides, Petersen, you should be ashamed of yourself – you have plagiarized a typical MSNBC/CNN sophist-demagogue stream of loud fake ire.

      • Mark Petersen
        February 26, 2017 at 5:37 pm

        Ashamed? Jurgen, I have never met you and you are claiming I should be ashamed of voicing an opinion based based on real experiences of witnessing racism and suffering in this world. How many years or even days have you spent in Compton, CA, West Atlanta, New Orleans, Mississippi or Brooklyn working with African Americans and listening to their experience growing up in a white America? How many years have you worked alongside Mexicans in Mexico City, Cuernavaca or Oaxaca and listening to their struggles and fierce pride in their families and the tragedy of having to leave a home and country to go to El Norte because of extreme poverty? How many days have you spent in Bangladesh watching people starve to death before your very eyes? How many Muslims, in particular Palestinians, have you actually lived with who expressed great grief in the loss of their family’s home do to the fact they were Muslim? I have no shame in any of these experiences Jurgen because they have informed me in real life and not from reading opinions and essays on websites from my safe living room.

        • February 26, 2017 at 7:17 pm

          An excellent response to a white supremacist. He doesn’t mask his belief in white supremacy. The web site called Breitbart runs on this theme. One of Donald Trumps top advisers is Steve Bannon who steers Trump in this direction. They must be exposed for what they are: UnAmerican.

          • Jurgen
            February 26, 2017 at 9:06 pm

            Hey, Foley, so sorry about your loss, but just try to wake up and try to get a grip of reality, try to shake off that delirium:

            Your Clinton-McCain “make-war” gang lost … let’s see here … somewhat 3 months ago, is that about right ?
            It is now February of the next, 2017, year and yet you try playing that October-November thimblerig game:
            “trump=putin=whitesupremacy=russia=bannon=unamerican=whitetrailertrash”

            And as the result of that moronic shill game, here’s a very bad news for you – H.Clinton’s reincarnation, T.Perez won DNC. Clintons’ spirit, ideas and strategy are back in the form of Perez and Dems’ problems will keep going on and on and on, congrats.

            We’ll see what kind of the ol’ thimblerig you start playing after mid-term defeat, but most likely the same old reliable “putin-ate-my-homework” – somehow Clinton-McCain gang seems having serious problems with political creativity and innovation.

        • Jurgen
          February 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

          Funny attempt, Peterson, to dodge a very simple question, that is:
          In practical solidarity with all those (mentioned in you pathetic and boresome demagogical drivel) living in projects poor Afro-Americans, Mexicana Hollywood janitors from Cuernavaca or Oaxaca (crawled over and under the fence and ended up working for your likes in LA), starving Bangladeshis, suffering Muslims in particular Palestinians
          we are going to see at the Oscar Nominations celebration tonight?

          Let me help you here because you (like all your types – demagogical haughty gabbers) get extremely
          shy. elusive and dodgy once it comes to something concrete and/or practical, so the answer is: 0.

          All your types (called, for no practical reason, American liberals and/or leftists) are able to do is
          to lecture, otherwise you are just a bunch of haughty impotents.

          Instead of weeping and lecturing others, won’t you just start from yourself tonight? – try to bring all those poor folks to tonight’s Hollywood vanity fair.

          Convince those rich arrogant Afro-American Hollywood demagogues instead of shedding tears while flashing their diamonds at the microphone to just sit few Afro-American kids from Detroit projects at their tables tonight or your filthy rich crying Hollywood Hispanic demagogues to sit few Hollywood janitors from Cuernavaca or Oaxaca at their tables tonight.
          And how about you, Petersen – instead of repeatedly plagiarizing MSNBC/CNN punch lines, just send few
          buck over to those poor Mexicans, Bangladeshis and Palestinians you wail so touchy about.

          Haven’t you parasited on those poor folks, while making money off your … khe-khe… chef-d’oeuvres, Petersen?

          • Jurgen
            February 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm

            Correction:
            Funny attempt, Peterson, to dodge a very simple question, that is:
            In practical solidarity with all those (mentioned in you pathetic and boresome demagogical drivel) living in projects poor Afro-Americans, Mexicana Hollywood janitors from Cuernavaca or Oaxaca (crawled over and under the fence and ended up working for your likes in LA), starving Bangladeshis, suffering Muslims in particular Palestinians
            HOW MANY of them we are going to see at the Oscar Nominations celebration tonight?

            Let me help you here because you (like all your types – demagogical haughty gabbers) get extremely
            shy. elusive and dodgy once it comes to something concrete and/or practical, so the answer is: 0.

          • February 27, 2017 at 9:37 am

            Mr. Jurgen thanks for your reply. It helps me to expose people like you whose main goal seem to be to: “Make America Hate Again”. Go read Larry Davidson’s article on “Trumps Trouble With the Truth”. I wonder if he knows any people like you who inspire his writings.

  12. David Smith
    February 26, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Regarding President Trump and the economy, the salient fact is that the Trump Administration begins in the first year of the 2017-2035 Bull Market Cycle. Trump is a very lucky man, all he has to do is ham it up, like Reagan.

  13. February 27, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Mr. Jurgen: I might suggest that you ask other posters to show their support for your drivel. Just have them sign onto some ofr your posts. I hope it doesn’t take up too much room on this page. Thanks for a look into what Bannon has in store for us.

    • March 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Mr. Foley, what leadership of the so called Democrats is trying to do in the USA now is almost exact blueprint of what Hitler’s Nazis (NSDAP) did in Germany in 1933 – using same propaganda trickery by creating the “internal” enemy (communists and their leader Ernst Thalmann) and the “external” enemy (Soviet Union and its leader Joseph Stalin) in minds of ordinary Germans, had set Reichstag on fire and blamed it on the “internal” enemy, German Communists assisted by the “external” enemy – Soviet Union.
      Just like German Nazis in 1933 US Democrats are spreading propaganda BS about white supremacists lead by Bannon and Trump (the Democrats’ version of Nazi’s “internal” enemy) and assisted by Russia and Putin (the Democrats’ version of Nazi’s “external” enemy).
      You, Mr. Foley and your double here, Mr. Petersen, certainly sound like some of the best students of the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels with his infamous “Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths. The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.” (sounds just like CNN’s modus operandi, doesn’t it).
      And American Democrats’ Reichstag Fire is the Russia-Putin nonsensical garbage.
      And your, American Democrats’, Ministry of Propaganda is American MSM channels, sites and papers.

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