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Don and Hillary: The Tragedy of the Great American Soap Opera

For many onlookers who reside outside the US, the run-up to that country’s presidential election appears to be some kind of made-for-TV soap opera. Amid evidence of rigging, it seems Bernie Sanders was always destined not to win the Democratic Party nomination. It seemed a sure-fire bet that Clinton would.

Hillary Clinton, a war monger who supported the attack on Libya and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi. Clinton who presses for more attacks on Syria and who sanctions the destabilisation of that sovereign state via the placement of US military personnel there along with the active backing of terror groups. Clinton, the candidate who is on record as stating she would go to war with Iran and whose dodgy emails and Clinton Foundation dealings help demonstrate the corruption at the heart of US politics.

And this doesn’t even account for Trump, someone seemingly so lacking in knowledge of world affairs that much of the rest of the world can only say with more than a hint of trepidation, “Only in America!”

Trump was always destined to be little more than the fall guy to get Clinton elected. While Trump has his loyal followers, the assumption was that the floating voter would never support such a figure and that Clinton would be a relatively safer bet. As Ron Horn on his Surviving Capitalism website argues, Clinton was always the US deep state’s choice and she was always going to win – by hook or by crook.

So what will the US voter give to the rest of the world by voting in a handmaiden of empire? What will we, the global public, have to thank the US voter for? A voter spoonfed and indoctrinated with a diet of CNN/Fox fear-based propaganda about ‘Russian aggression’ and Islamic terror as well as the US’s role in exporting ‘freedom and democracy’ to the smoking ruins it helped create in Syria, Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan?

What we will get is what we already have: a trajectory towards a nuclear precipice and, along the way (maybe a very short way), a continuation of the steely grip of freedom around the necks of weaker states who refuse to bow to US hegemony.

Aside from the unfolding situation in Syria, the US and its client states are to all intents and purposes already at war with Russia. Washington initiated economic sanctions against Russia, has attacked its currency and has manipulated oil prices to try and devastate the Russian economy. It was behind the coup in Ukraine and is now escalating tensions by placing troops and missiles in Europe.

The ultimate aim is to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia and weaken Russia’s energy dependent economy. The ultimate aim is to also ensure Europe remains subservient to Washington, not least via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and in the long term via US gas and Middle East oil (sold in dollars, thereby boosting the strength of the currency upon which US global hegemony rests).

As with Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and now Syria, or the much less publicised death and plunder in the Democratic Republic of Congo which Washington and London fuels for its corporations, US foreign policy leaves a trail of death and devastation in its wake.

By the 1980s, Washington’s wars, death squads and covert operations were responsible for six million deaths in the ‘developing’ world. An updated figure suggests that figure is closer to ten million. The US is effectively a ‘destroyer of nations‘.

The game plan is to destroy Russia as a functioning state or to permanently weaken it so it submits to US hegemony. Washington believes it can actually win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a conventional theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes.

The situation in Syria is most worrying of all. Another theatre of conflict instigated by the US that now sees it and Russia facing each other directly, with Moscow warning the US about the consequences of its aggression: possible nuclear war.

Washington presses ahead regardless. Russia and China undermine dollar hegemony by trading oil and gas and goods in roubles and other currencies. And history shows that whenever a country threatens the dollar, the US does not idly stand by.

Unfortunately, most US voters believe the lies being fed to them: a Pavlov’s dog public and media, which respond on cue to the moralistic bleating of politicians who rely on the public’s ignorance to facilitate war and conflict. A public that is encouraged to regard what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya, etc, (that is if they are encouraged to think about such things at all) as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention based on bogus notions of ‘humanitarianism’ or a ‘war on terror’, rather than the planned machinations of empire.

And what of Europe? Former US government official Paul Craig Roberts says a senior US government official told him in the 1970s, when referring to top European leaders, “we own them, they belong to us.” This has always been the US plan for Europe since 1945. And that ownership is clear to see as Europe’s politicians lie to their public by parroting official Pentagon nonsense about Russia and Syria and drag Europe into conflicts not of its choosing.

Could it be that the US’s first woman president will sleepwalk the world towards humanity’s final war (if it doesn’t reach that point prior to her becoming president)?

Could it be that the hawks in Washington would rather gamble on taking Russia (and China) out while risking all life on the planet?

After all, why would they be any different from their predecessors who appeared to place no value on the lives of hundreds of millions of ordinary people who lived in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe? They were prepared to annihilate vast swaths of humanity with nuclear weapons.

That mindset persists among the modern-day guardians of empire who continue to display no regard for human life whatsoever. We can hope that the US public finally wake up to the situation. But what chance of that? A public fed a prime-time TV soap opera script based on personality politics revolving around Trump’s dodgy past or Clinton’s health or integrity, while remaining blissfully ignorant of the real possibility of nuclear war breaking out in Syria.

We can of course hope that diplomacy and sanity prevails.

Unfortunately, the more likely option at this moment is that, in Syria, Russia offers a sufficient enough deterrent to force the Pentagon and the White House to reconsider the course it is on.

More articles by:

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

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