Are we out of time and options?
by Mike Meyer
Its time again for a dose of reality. Let me work at summarizing the current situation as objectively as possible. That does not mean as an apologist for flagrant stupidity or wild eyed authoritarianism. It also doesn’t mean following one or another of the archaic political ideologies that have destroyed America.
We have an incompetent and mentally unstable individual as the political head of this nation state. He is known to be in debt to a range of international financial interests and has been heavily involved in money laundering of Russian public funds high-jacked by various oligarchs now under the thumb of Putin.
He appears to have been a person of interest for years for Russian intelligence because that is what they do and the GRU does it in ways that the old KGB developed. Because we know exactly how that works and how nervous Trump is in avoiding getting crossways of Putin we can be very confidant that they have a pile of incriminating information on him.
None of this matters now because it was generally guessed at back in 2016 and nothing was done about it. At that point Trump was obviously unqualified to be president but managed to end up there anyway with a carefully crafted electoral college plan after loosing the popular election by a significant margin.
The expected explosion in corruption and incompetence has happened. The nation is now the laughing stock of the planet and nothing has happened except a growing range of evolving disasters. The biggest is a stunningly stupid trade war that is already devastating the core Trump supporters. We have just had a rather amazing announcement, or it would have been amazing in the past, that $14 billion dollars is being budgeted to compensate farmers for the loss of their markets due to the tariffs. The only thing I can say is that this adds a whole new layer of stupidity to an incredibly stupid display of ignorance.
The critical issue now is the tightening of the noose by Mueller. With Paul Manafort’s trial now rescheduled in two weeks and, already, the granting of immunity to several witnesses we can be fairly certain that the jig is up for a bunch of the Trump team. Following the pattern for large corruption investigations by Mueller and others a significant portion of the evidence tying these people, plus Trump, to high crimes and misdemeanors will begin to be in public view.
Just to make this clear, none of this matters in any real way to Trump as he is unable to understand the reason that what he has done is criminal or why anyone would expect anything else. His view of the world is a world where only Trump and his immediate family matters. Power is all that means anything and he can do whatever he wants. Putin scares him, obviously, but is fascinating because Putin has real power in a world very like Trump’s ideal.
The simple reality is that Trump wants to make the US exactly like Russia. What’s left of the Republican Party is totally behind that. They would be able to become incredibly wealthy and act as true oligarchs. What's not to like?
The current critical point may well be the trigger of everything Trump has planned, as far as he is capable of planning. Fortunately for Trump, Iran’s president gave a nice speech pointing out the danger that the US presents to the world now. Iran was a target for Trump from the beginning for all the obvious reasons. He began the outrage and threats immediately to get his base fuming. Trump’s response to impending disasters is always the same and is to shout and threaten someone. This creates a distraction. If things are bad enough he keeps the screaming and threats going and then does something outrageous.
Our media, that has devolved to the intelligence of a crustacean, will snap at anything thrown at it and will only let go when something new is thrown. Everything else is forgotten no matter how important. This the inevitable result of totalitarian capitalism that demands that only profits for the owning class is of any value.
How far will Trump go? This is a critical point that must be understood now. There is no limit unless someone that Trump fears or admires tells him to stop. The only person that we know fitting that role at the moment is Putin.
As the Manafort trial progresses and additional testimony reveals the extent of Trump’s crimes, it will depend on his ability to do increasingly outrageous things to distract the nation. Trump has no limits. As long as he and his family survive nothing else matters.
This is where it gets very dicey. If our media follows their pattern and runs, panting after Trump’s stunts shoving the trial and Mueller’s evidence to the back pages we may survive another month. If the Manafort trial and the power of testimony and evidence captures a mass audience we are in serious danger of war or serious attacks on this country. This could be a new 9/11 attack or a war on Iran. It could even be a North Korean “attack” although that is a bit contradictory after the great summit that brought peace in our time to northeast Asia. But consistency is not a virtue to Trump.
What could stop this? Again, it will depend on what Putin sees as valuable to himself and his Russia. Attacking Iran would be great for Putin because he would allow Trump to be the monkey throwing bombs while he advised restraint. Any disaster befalling Iran makes Syria more important as a base to control the Middle East. Putin wins, Trump gets his distraction, and both are happy. America loses because Trump would fire Mueller as a threat to national security and demand unity against the Iranian monster.
There are many ways that this could blow up. Iran is a powerful state with strong national support as the underdog who has been shit on by Israel and the US, etc. The clumsy and fumbling Trump administration's rejection of the Iran agreement efforts to foment some kind of war in Iran are the result of the usual delusions. The US is already isolated and is on it’s way to being a regional power. No one will follow Trump anywhere. We would be at the mercy of Iran to preserve some kind of sanity. Or at the mercy of Russia and Putin, as stated earlier, to rein in Trump to prevent larger disaster.
This is the crude and brutal reality. It is out of our hands as citizens of the US. We abrogated our responsibilities in allowing this to happen over the last forty years, at least. We have allowed uncontrolled, totalitarian capitalism with racism and bigotry to devastate the great majority of our population with 90% of our wealth in the hands of a kleptocratic* elite. We gave away control in exchange for toys and the promise of some day becoming one of the kleptocrats. But it never happened and never will.
That leaves the biggest problem. There is no one left in the US that will even try to control or remove Trump. The entire weight of our national survival is on Mueller who is an attorney working the job he agreed to take. He can present his case but that is all he can do. I doubt that he will consider being killed or imprisoned in Trump’s America as worth doing. He is a legal technician not a leader. We are too far gone to be worth the blood and suffering.
Other options? Very few. Enough of the US military could refuse to attack Iran or whomever Trump wants to attack. That could trigger a civil war in the military and/or a full military coup of Trump supporters with the rounding up of dissidents and the impure that has already started with immigrants. We are very close to this now. Erdogan has shown Trump how to do this in Turkey.
Signing another petition or sending another email to your Congress people is bailing out the Titanic with a spoon. We are on the edge of irreversible collapse and we have no leadership.
I’m hoping there is something that will change this but if there is I don’t see it. I’ve tried to identify the triggers and the possible paths of action but there are not many. Our options have disappeared. That’s how these things go, there is plenty of time and things that can be done until there is no time and the options are gone.
*For a while this was showing kelptocratic that suggests slimy sea weed people and that was very appropriate per one reader. Perhaps a new term needs to be developed based on kelp.