GOP Splitting as Endangered Senators Scurry to Escape Trump Maelstrom; GOP Bosses Recognize Trump as Unstable Racist, but Want to Impose Him on U.S. Anyway; From Graham’s Off-Ramp to Hugh Hewitt’s Mutiny, Buyers’ Remorse Grips Desperate GOP Opportunists; Senator Kirk of Illinois De-Endorses Trump, Setting Pattern for Endangered Republicans; Watch California Jungle Primary to Gauge Effect of Trump Dead Weight on GOP; 20 to 30% of GOP Voters Still Reject Trump, Who Held a Subdued Rally with Teleprompter
In the last multi-primary evening of the season, Hillary Clinton emerged as the likely winner in New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, and claimed to have secured an absolute majority of the legally bound delegates headed to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. At midnight, California and Montana were too close to call. Bernie Sanders was the winner in the North Dakota caucus. Hillary thus made her claim before the results from California had been fully counted. Hillary stressed that she will be the first woman to be nominated by a major US political party. The high point of her speech was a sharp ad hominem attack on Trump around the theme that he is “temperamentally unfit to be president.”
As expected, Trump took all the GOP contests. But in each of these states, there remained a solid bloc of 20 to 30% of the primary voters that Trump could not capture. These diehards insisted on voting for Cruz, Kasich, and other defeated rivals. If Trump is deserted by one third to one fifth of hard core Republicans, his chances in November will be grim. And grim was the mood at Trump’s unusually muted and restrained rally. In line with recent reports that stress Trump’s personal isolation and one man band approach to campaigning, the podium was far from crowded. Trump was muted in his speech, which in a radical departure from his usual practice, he read from a teleprompter. This time there was no mention of Judge Curiel or the Trump University fraud case. Trump read the text, which eventually got around to issues of trade. Here we were assured that only “great” trade deals would be signed in the future. It looked like Trump had been read the riot act, told to stop ad-libbing, and forbidden to harp on the “Trump University” fraud case. But every time Trump opens his mouth, top GOP elected officials cringe and shudder. Trump closed by saying that next week, probably Monday, he would present a lengthy screed against the crimes of the Clintons – no doubt relying heavily on the scurrilous Roger Stone. It looked like a golden opportunity for more borderline psychotic outbursts by the wayward candidate.
Yesterday evening at about 8 PM Eastern time, the Associated Press announced that, according to its informal canvassing of Democratic Party superdelegates, it had determined that Hillary Clinton had accumulated the minimum delegate vote total necessary to get the nomination. This outrageous procedure sets a new low in the manipulation of US elections by the press and television news was soon followed by NBC News, and soon by the entire corporate media pack. The alleged AP polling of the delegates on the basis of which the story had been manufactured could not be checked or verified in any way. The Associated Press had placed secret telephone calls to superdelegates, and then claimed to portray the result in public. The names of the superdelegates in question, as well as further details of these conversations – if they ever took place – were supposed to be taken on faith. No one can actually determine what happened.
It seems safe to assume that the intent of this totalitarian procedure was to suppress the vote for Bernie Sanders in the California and New Jersey primaries, especially, since Sanders voters might expect to be demoralized and disoriented by the AP-NBC maneuver. According to some fragmentary reports today, the effect has been the opposite, unleashing a wave of rage and energy against the media mindbenders. It is also possible that the more complacent Hillary Clinton voters were the ones who decided to stay home. Time will tell.
Tonight, the California primaries will merit special attention. The California primary is now a so-called “jungle primary,” with Democrats, Republicans, and others competing in a single contest. The top two, irrespective of party, go on to the November election where voters will choose the final winner. It is already considered likely by some observers that the two contenders for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer will be to Democrats, with the Republicans already removed from contention. And this may also happen further down the ballot. Given Trump’s terrible performance over the last two weeks, it is possible that certain congressional districts will see Republicans, and possibly even Republican incumbents, shut out and eliminated because they could not come in first or second – in part thanks to Trump.
In the meantime, the Republican Party is undergoing yet another round of deadly internecine warfare, and factional splintering. On Monday, it was reported that the fascist billionaire had instructed his paid staff and campaign surrogates not to back away from his absurd and preposterous attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, but rather to escalate them. With the Republican Party’s share of the Latino vote now projected at a meager 20%, many GOP incumbents were screaming for Trump to shut up. Marco Rubio says he wants to make a speech at the Republican National Convention, but not as a stooge for Trump.
As it turned out, Trump’s paid mercenary lackeys were the only ones willing to go along with this suicidal order. The surrogates, like Governor Christie of New Jersey, stopped talking about the alleged bias of Judge Curiel, and confined themselves to lauding the sterling character of the speculator Trump.
The stupidity of Trump was underlined when commentators called attention to the fact that, far from being prejudiced against the fascist billionaire, Judge Curiel had done him the biggest favor of all by postponing the Trump University fraud case until late November, well after the presidential election. That, if anything, was a sweetheart deal that might raise questions of pro-Trump bias in the minds of some observers.
Late Tuesday, Trump blatantly backed down and ran for cover on the Curiel issue, whining that his racist tirade against the jurist had been “misconstrued.” It was the typical doubletalk of a politician, exactly the kind of thing Trump’s crazed plebeian supporters are supposed to abhor. Trump scapegoated a low ranking female staffer for what he claimed was the blunder of sending out a memo to media surrogates telling them to back away from talking about Judge Curiel and the Trump University fraud case.
But serious strategic damage had already been done to the Republican nominee presumptive. The #NeverTrump movement among Republican hacks, which had appeared moribund, was suddenly revived, this time with the courage of desperation.
The Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets stammering that he “could not disagree more” with Trump’s ravings, even though he stopped short of labeling the candidate presumptive as a racist, which is surely the least he could have done. Pressed in later interviews, McConnell added the sage advice that Trump should stop attacking his former primary rivals, the important ethnic groups present in this country, and other obsessive targets. McConnell wanted Trump to stay “on message” and “talk about issues.” Here was a genuinely utopian program, given the well-known mental instability of the candidate.
Paul Ryan’s rhetorical stance is currently that the Speaker of the House is an aw shucks farm boy who can’t understand what this feller Trump is saying and why he is saying it. All Ryan knows is that trumps criticism of Judge Curiel fulfills the basic definition of racism. But despite that, Ryan wants to impose this racist candidate as president of the United States, out of loyalty to the Republican Party and to the “House Republican Agenda,” which turns out to be mainly dedicated to gouging and stripping the economic rights and social safety net which belong to the American people. Ryan should actually thank Trump, since without the presence of the fascist billionaire and his big yap it would be the Wisconsin Bircher Congressman who would appear as the extremist.
South Carolina’s Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged his colleagues to “de-endorse” Trump, repudiating him if they had been foolish enough to declare their support in the recent past. “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” Graham said to The New York Times. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”1 But with today’s Republican Party, don’t hold your breath.
Tuesday brought the first such de-endorsement when embattled Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk withdrew his stamp of approval from the fascist billionaire. Kirk is universally known as the most endangered of all senate incumbents in the upcoming November election. His dumping of Trump may well set a pattern for the other half dozen endangered Republican senators who risk being dragged into the abyss by the relentless motormouth presumptive.
An example of these endangered Republican senators is Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, whose statement today was mainly aimed at reminding the public that he for one did not need to consider de-endorsing Trump, since he had never endorsed this candidate in the first place. Susan Collins of Maine also offered some anti-Trump posturing. Senator Jeff Flake has also reminded us that he has no truck with Trump.
Many commentators are already repeating the catchy line that every Republican incumbent is only one scurrilous Trump Tweet away from election-year disaster. The ones that are not destroyed by actual scandal may well succumb to pure stress.
Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman who now heads the morning line up at MSNBC, verged on saying something interesting with his comment that Trump’s approach to Judge Curiel looks like it was drawn from the Nazi Race Laws promulgated at Nuremberg in 1935. One key aspect of these Nuremberg laws was that “non-Aryans” were barred from the certain professions. Trump is saying that only Aryans can work as federal judges in the US he wants.
The two eager Trump shills known to be willing to sell their souls to obtain the Republican vice presidential nomination – Newt Gingrich and Bob Corker – both criticized Trump’s racist offensive, but are now backpedaling after the fascist billionaire snarled at them. Rumors are now circulating that Newt Gingrich has been permanently eliminated from the vice presidential short list.
The most plausible vice presidential candidate for Trump might well be Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a representative of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry. This would restore the treasonous axis of New York financiers and proto-Confederate planters which did so much mischief in the 1850s.
It is a matter of public record that the pro-Netanyahu gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson has offered to spend $100 million in favor of Trump, with the strong implication that his quid pro quo would be the presence of the note on the ticket. In the 2012 election, Sheldon Abelson kept new in the running for months after his realistic chances had long since expired. Corker is also running scared.
Trump’s actual short list for the vice presidency is literally anybody’s guess. Those taking the long view will recall that the Emperor Caligula in ancient Rome tried to compel public adulation for his horse, and may even have attempted to abdicate in favor of the steed. As for Scarborough, it will take more than this to make restitution for his months-long public flirtation which did so much to launch the Trump presidential bid.
David French, the Weekly Standard staffer urged by William Kristol to take the plunge as an anti-Trump warmonger candidate, has now dropped out while complaining that he received death threats from the Trump campaign. French also says that he and his wife, who had adopted a daughter from Ethiopia, were subjected to an avalanche of internet abuse by racist camp followers of Trump. The arguments about Trump as a direct threat to any concept of the rule of law are, we see, gaining in consistency.
The traditional reactionary commentator Hugh Hewitt, who was working for Mitt Romney in the last presidential cycle, has obviously sampled the varying degrees of panic among Republican incumbents, and is now proposing a novel solution in extremis.
Hewitt’s proposal is called #Mutiny and presupposes that Ryan, McConnell, and other Republican leaders are smart enough to read the ominous handwriting on the wall, telling them that mortgaging their future election chances to Trump is an active incalculable folly. If they don’t get rid of the fascist billionaire now, they will be the captives of a raging madman for as far as the eye can see. It is not just a matter of losing an election; the issue is rather a catastrophic outcome which could virtually destroy the Republican Party in place. Congressional Republicans in borderline states and districts could simply be wiped out.
Hewitt’s formula is drawn from a meeting held exactly 52 years ago, when Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, Michigan Governor George Romney, and other party leaders attempted to meet in Cleveland to deny the Republican nomination to the right wing extremist Barry Goldwater. At that time, the effort failed, in part due to the petulance of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who presented Scranton and Romney because they had not assisted him in the primary battle against the Goldwater altar of reactionaries.2
The result of the failure to stop Goldwater was that the Republican Party suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of President Johnson in November 1964, and also that the historic alienation of black America from the former Party of Lincoln was completed. In other words, it was Goldwater’s racist raving and opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act which put the black community out of reach for Republican demagogues down to the present day.
Hewitt wants the GOP bigwigs and governors to gather and issue a joint statement calling on the Rules Committee of the Republican National Convention to make the first and second ballots of the Cleveland convention purely “advisory.” There is no doubt that the rules committee has the power to do this and much more, provided that the requisite political will be present.
After two ballots, virtually all of the GOP delegates in Cleveland will be free to vote as they wish, since they are legally bound to vote for their states’ primary and caucus winner only on the first ballot, and in a few cases on the second ballot as well. This would be an effective way to break Trump’s death grip on the convention. Because of Trump’s fascism, it is imperative that he be stopped, and the technicalities of formal democracy must not be allowed to obscure the preeminent needs of US national survival in the present crisis.
The Tax Wall Street Party doubts very much whether Hewitt and his associates will get anywhere with their proposal to change the convention rules in such a way as to block Trump. At the same time, the TWSP estimates that efforts of this type can do serious damage to Trump on Election Day, thus contributing to the overriding need to secure his defeat.
Ex-Chancellors Von Papen and Von Schleicher, Press Baron Hugenberg Tried to Control and Use Hitler, but They Paid a Terrible Price in the June-July 1934 Night of the Long Knives
Photo shows Chancellor Hitler with his ministers in January-February 1933. Hitler is at the center flanked by Goebbels and Goering. Next to last on the right is Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, who had been a member of the Catholic Center Party. Last on the right is Agriculture Minister Alfred Hugenberg of the German National People’s Party, the representatives of the aristocratic landowners east of the Elbe River. Both von Papen and Hugenberg deluded themselves that they could install Hitler as Chancellor of Germany with dictatorial power and still control the Nazi leader for their purposes. Their sad stories may show Newt Gingrich, Bob Corker, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Reince Priebus and other GOP opportunists something about what awaits them.
This is the season when the traditional reactionary politicians of the Republican Party who had opposed the candidacy of Trump abandon their posturing of high principle, and try to climb aboard the fascist bandwagon. Many of the columnists and ideologues of the GOP are appalled by so much craven opportunism. One of the most eloquent and vehement is the reactionary Erick Erickson, whose condemnation of the Republican turncoats for Trump appears with a large photograph of a Ku Klux Klan ceremony, complete with burning cross in the background. Erickson writes:
‘…damn the GOP for its unwillingness to speak up on this….The Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist. Damn them for that.’1
If Erickson, Gerson, and others among the appalled anti-Trump brigade are serious, they should join in the effort to dismantle the Republican Party and push it into a well-deserved extinction. This is, after all, the party of national sabotage which managed the unprecedented twofer of a war and a depression in 2008, which put a pedophile two heartbeats away from the presidency in the person of Dennis Hastert, which has shut down the United States government, caused a downgrading of US treasury bonds, and is now doing what it can to put a fascist demagogue in the White House. The three elements necessary for the remission of sins are the contrition of the heart, confession and acknowledgment, and acts of restitution. It is the act of restitution by multi-year reactionary Republicans which we are waiting to see.
But the despicable actions of Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Bob Corker, and Reince Priebus in supporting Trump should be no surprise to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the process leading up to Hitler’s seizure of power. These sleazy hacks are simply repeating many of the maneuvers carried out by sly bourgeois reactionary politicians in the closing months of Germany’s Weimar Republic, especially in the time leading up to Hitler’s seizure of power in late January, 1933. The Republicans don’t know that they are doing this, but they are surely doing it.
The scholar who has paid the most attention to the role of the reactionaries of the old order in facilitating and enabling the seizure of power by Hitler in January 1933 is Robert O. Paxton. Paxton shows that some fascist movements never successfully established themselves as parties, and some of those who did never took power:
Becoming a successful participant in electoral or pressure-group politics forced young fascist movements to focus their words and actions more precisely. It became harder for them to indulge their initial freedom to mobilize a wide range of heterogeneous complaints, and to voice the scattered resentments of everyone (except socialists) who felt aggrieved but unrepresented. They had to make choices. They had to give up the amorphous realms of indiscriminate protest and locate a definite political space in which they could obtain positive practical results. In order to form effective working relations with significant partners, they had to make themselves useful in measurable ways. They had to offer their followers concrete advantages and engage in specific actions whose beneficiaries and victims were obvious….Becoming a successful contender in the political arena required more than clarifying priorities and knitting alliances. It meant offering a new political style that would attract voters who had concluded that “politics” had become dirty and futile. Posing as an “anti-politics” was often effective with people whose main political motivation was scorn for politics….’
We note in passing that Trump appears to be totally incapable of recognizing the need to make this transition from the anti-politics of pure protest to a politics of practical alliances that might allow him to attract the support of key groups in the society, most notably the Latinos, where his failure has been total and glaringly obvious.
Paxton follows the British historian Alan Bullock in concluding that, after Hitler and the Nazis had begun losing support in the parliamentary election of November 1932, the entire Nazi episode might have quickly ended if it had not been artificially kept alive by the scheming of reactionary politicians like the Catholic aristocrat and former chancellor Franz von Papen, of whom we will say more below. Bullock’s famous phrase was that Hitler had been lifted into power by a “backstairs conspiracy” of washed up reactionaries who tried to ride his coattails, but ended up dead or marginalized. Paxton writes:
In November 1932, the Nazi vote slipped in further parliamentary elections. The Nazi Party was losing its most precious asset: momentum. Money was running out. Hitler, gambling all or nothing on the position of chancellor, refused all lesser offers to become vice-chancellor in a coalition government. The Nazi rank and file grew restive as the chances for jobs and places seemed to be slipping away…. The movement might have ended as a footnote to history had it not been saved in the opening days of 1933 by conservative politicians who wanted to pilfer its following and use its political muscle for their own purposes. The Nazi leader was rescued by Franz von Papen.… von Papen secretly arranged a deal whereby Hitler would be chancellor and he, von Papen, deputy chancellor—a position from which von Papen expected to run things. The aged Hindenburg, convinced by his son and other intimate advisors that Schleicher was planning to depose him and install a military dictatorship, and convinced by von Papen that no other conservative option remained, appointed the Hitler–von Papen government on January 30, 1933. Hitler, concluded Alan Bullock, had been “hoist” into office by “a backstairs [secret] conspiracy.”2
The fascist dictatorships of Mussolini and Hitler were not built in a day, and even these classic strongmen had to endure a prolonged phase of coalition partnership with bourgeois political parties. We are seeing the same phenomenon today in Trump’s relations with the GOP. The good news is that the fascist billionaire is behaving much more stupidly and stubbornly than his infamous predecessors.
Former Chancellor Franz von Papen, the aristocrat who became Vice Chancellor in the Hitler Cabinet of January 1933. Although he had played the main role in getting Hitler appointed as chancellor, he narrowly escaped assassination in Hitler’s Night of the Long Knives in June-July 1934.
We can imagine that people like Newt Gingrich, Bob Corker, Rick Perry, and other despicable opportunists in the GOP are today telling themselves that Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is just a way of duping the ignorant masses, and that the superficial dilettante Trump will be easy to control once he gets into power. The reactionary politicians of the old order around Hitler who thought the same things were in for a very unpleasant surprise.
Von Papen probably played the most important role in giving Hitler state power: “It was largely Papen, believing that Hitler could be controlled once he was in the government, who persuaded [German President Field Marshal] Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in a cabinet not under Nazi Party domination.”3
‘Along with DNVP leader Alfred Hugenberg, Papen formed an agreement with Hitler under which the Nazi leader would become Chancellor of a coalition government with the Nationalists [DNVP], with Papen serving as Vice-Chancellor and Minister President of Prussia.’4
But von Papen soon found that the psychotic fanatic Hitler would not listen to him. By the end of 1933, von Papen had been thoroughly marginalized. Six months after that, he was lucky to escape with his life after an assassination attempt, not through his own devices but thanks mostly to Nazi bigwig Hermann Goering, who needed a Catholic ambassador in Vienna to begin the process of gobbling up the independent clerical fascist state of Austria.
Those who have watched the absurd spectacle of the Republican primaries in 2016 undoubtedly recall the speech delivered by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney against Trump on March 3. This can be usefully compared to the speech given by von Papen in the university town of Marburg speech on June 17, 1934. Romney sounded the alarm against the scoundrel Trump. Von Papen had warned that there were parts of the Nazi SA or brown shirt storm trooper organization which were demanding a second revolution in which not just the government, but also control of the banks, the general staff of the armed forces, and the main industrial firms would be given to the Nazi plebeian guttersnipes.
“Germany must not turn into a train heading off into the blue yonder, with no one knowing when it will stop,” said von Papen. Shortly thereafter Hitler massacred SA boss Ernst Roehm, the leader of the “Second Revolution” faction. This was the “Night of the Long Knives,” which occurred between June 29 and July 2, 1934. At the same time, Hitler sent a commando of SS assassins who tried to kill von Papen, who escaped death only because he was not where the killers expected to find him:
‘… in the Night of the Long Knives, the Vice-Chancellery, Papen’s office, was ransacked by the Schutzstaffel (SS); his associate Herbert von Bose was shot dead at his desk. Another associate, Erich Klausener, was also shot dead at his desk at the Ministry of Transport. Many more were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps where Jung, amongst others, was shot a few days later.’5
It was futile to expect gratitude from the megalomaniac Hitler, just as it will be futile to expect any consideration from the megalomaniac Trump.
General Kurt von Schleicher, the last German Chancellor before Hitler, who had him assassinated in early summer 1934.
A second political figure of the final phase of the Weimar Republic who met a tragic fate because he was unable to mount a principled and sustained opposition against Hitler was General Kurt von Schleicher, who was the last non-Nazi chancellor of Germany before Hitler. Schleicher at one point tried to split the Nazi movement through factional intrigue, and for a time advocated job creation programs to reduce unemployment. But he had participated in so many intrigues, plots, and cabals that he had become discredited and was thus unable to exercise political initiative effectively.
At various points, Schleicher imagined that he could use Hitler as a vehicle for his own political ambition. Yale’s Henry Ashby Turner, one of the leading historians of Weimar Germany, wrote of Schleicher that he:
“… sought in vain to tame the NSDAP by offering it a subordinate role in an authoritarian regime he himself intended to head, an arrangement that would had unavoidably have entailed extensive policy concessions to Nazi ideology.”
Schleicher tried to devise Byzantine schemes that would allow him to placate Hitler, but at the same time keep the real levers of power in his own hands. At one point, Schleicher said of the Nazi leader:
…’”If Hitler wants to establish a dictatorship, the Army will be a dictatorship within the dictatorship” headed by himself….Though Papen had made it clear that he would never serve in a government with Schleicher, when … asked if Schleicher could become Defense Minister in a Hitler government, Hitler gave a positive answer.’
But when Hitler took power, there was no seat for the scheming Schleicher at the cabinet table. And within less than a year and a half, the master of intrigue was assassinated together with his wife when he opened the door of his home to an SS commando: “General Kurt von Schleicher, the former Chancellor who had been scheming with some of Hitler’s rivals within the party to separate them from their leader, was gunned down along with his wife.’6
Alfred Hugenberg, former Krupp chairman, press baron, and controller of the ultra-reactionary German National People’s Party (Deutsch-Nationale Volkspartei, DNVP). He was Economics and Agriculture Minister in the Hitler Cabinet of 1933. Within a few months he had been reduced to the status of an isolated minor figurehead with no power and no role in the government. Luck to survive at all, he became an unbidden “guest” of the parliament.
A third German politician who can serve as a mirror for our modern GOP careerists is Alfred von Hugenberg, who attempted to climb aboard the Hitler bandwagon and soon ended up as an anonymous nobody after Hitler had eaten his lunch. Hugenberg had been one of the greatest captains of German industry as chairman of the board of Krupp AG, one of the largest arms manufacturers in the world. He had filled various top posts as a civil servant. As boss of the largest media empire of Weimar Germany, Hugenberg can also be compared it to the meddling Rupert Murdoch. Hugenberg also controlled the German National People’s Party (Deutsch-Nationale People’s Party), which represented the interests of the German aristocrats, who held landed estates east of the Elbe River, many of which are today located in Poland.
Even as he was being overtaken and passed by the phenomenal growth of the Nazis during the world economic depression after 1931, Hugenberg entered into electoral alliances with Hitler and the Nazis:
‘The two presented a united front at Bad Harzburg on 21 October 1931 as part of a wider right-wing rally leading to suggestions that a Harzburg Front involving the two parties and the veterans’ movement Stahlhelm [Steel Helmet], Bund der Frontsoldaten [Union of Front-line Fighters] had emerged. The two leaders soon clashed, however, and Hugenberg’s refusal to endorse Hitler in the German presidential election of 1932 widened the gap. Indeed, the rift between the two opened further when Hugenberg, fearing that Hitler might win the Presidency, persuaded Theodor Duesterberg to run as a Junker [aristocratic landowner] candidate.’
Hugenberg had wanted a candidate of the DNVP landowners distinct from the incumbent President Field Marshal von Hindenburg (who had the support of the Social Democrats) and from Hitler, who came in second in this election.
There is an uncanny similarity between Hugenberg’s desperate effort to recruit a candidate in 1932 and the endless flailing of neocon leader William Kristol, who wants above all to have a candidate distinct from Trump to assert the need for a traditional neocon warmonger foreign policy based on intervention and regime change.
Hitler had a mass movement and Hugenberg did not:
“… Hugenberg felt that he needed a nationalist with support amongst the working classes whom he could use to whip up popular sentiment against [the reparations payments imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty]. Adolf Hitler was the only realistic candidate and Hugenberg decided that he would use the Nazi Party leader to get his way [But instead] Hitler was able to use Hugenberg to push himself into the political mainstream and … Hitler promptly ended his links with Hugenberg…by the end of 1933 Hugenberg had been pushed to the sidelines, where he served as a “guest” member of the Reichstag until 1945, wielding no political influence.’7
So we find that among the traditional bourgeois reactionary politicians of the Weimar Republic who tried to control Hitler and making their tool, one ended up dead, one was lucky to escape an assassination attempt, and the third was reduced to the status of a nonperson, presumably because Hitler regarded him as totally insignificant and innocuous.
Are we suggesting that similar treatment awaits the Republicans of today, who are trying to re-launch their sagging careers by riding on Trump’s coattails?
Not necessarily. We are suggesting that Trump will use violence by secret police agencies like the FBI, once he gets into power?
We don’t know, and we don’t want to find out. Trump must never be allowed to take the presidency.
Kurds Close to Terrorist Capital of Raqqa; Fallujah Under Attack by Iranians and Iraqi Shiite Militias; Buildup for Attack on ISIS-Occupied Mosul Reported; France 24 Sees Turn of Tide in Conflict vs. ISIS; German Police Block Strategy of Tension Terror Attack on Düsseldorf; Every Defeat for ISIS Is a Nail in Trump’s Political Coffin; Could Johnson-Weld Ticket Win Utah?; Scholar Says Trump Copies Grimaces from Mussolini and Airplane as Prop from Hitler
World Crisis Radio
June 4, 2016
‘Kurdish-led forces have launched an offensive to capture the Syrian town of Manbij, a suspected supply route for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as ISIS) group to smuggle weapons in from Turkey. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of armed groups led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), was mobilizing near Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo on Thursday, the AFP news agency reported. In the past 24 hours, 18 coalition air strikes are reported to have targeted positions held by ISIL, also known as ISIS.
Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC, said if anti-ISIL fighters take Manbij and then Jarablus, that would sever ISIL’s link with Turkey. “Recapturing Manbij and ultimately advancing to Jarablus would disrupt but not eliminate ISIS’s ability to resupply,” she said. The US-led coalition has long had its eye on the so-called Manbij pocket. But an offensive on this mainly Arab region has run into opposition from Turkey, a key partner in the alliance.
The US sees the SDF – which is dominated by YPG – as the most effective ground force against ISIL in Syria. Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC, said if anti-ISIL fighters take Manbij and then Jarablus, that would sever ISIL’s link with Turkey. The US sees the SDF – which is dominated by YPG – as the most effective ground force against ISIL in Syria.’1
Left Liberals Blinded by Hatred of Hillary; Impotent Academic Nominalists Quibble Over Semantics While Trump Infects U.S. Body Politic with Fascism; What’s in a Name? Outcome of U.S. Election May Hang on Ability of Big Media to Ostracize Billionaire as Fascist and Nazi; Enemy Must Be Named Before They Can Be Effectively Fought; Trump Supporters Are Pariahs
On Saturday, May 21 the Tax Wall Street Party presented two panels at the New York City Left Forum, which focused on the collapse of the US Republican Party and in particular on the fascism and probable psychosis of its candidate, Donald J. Trump. Fewer than 10 days later, on May 29, at the New York Times published a widely discussed analysis of Trump and fascism within the context of the growth of racist, reactionary, and dictatorial political parties in Europe and elsewhere around the world. This article showed the breadth and depth of the worldwide condemnation of Trump as a modern-day fascist, and also suggested how sensitive his backers are to this analysis, and its implications:
‘…the discussion comes as questions are surfacing around the globe about a revival of fascism, generally defined as a governmental system that asserts complete power and emphasizes aggressive nationalism and often racism….President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico criticized Mr. Trump’s plans to build a wall on the border and to bar Muslims from entering the United States. “That’s the way Mussolini arrived and the way Hitler arrived,” he said. The actor George Clooney called Mr. Trump “a xenophobic fascist.” Louis C. K., the comic, said, “The guy is Hitler.” Eva Schloss, the 87-year-old stepsister of Anne Frank, said Trump “is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism.” It got to the point that his wife, Melania Trump, was prompted to say, “He’s not Hitler.” Mr. Trump’s allies dismiss the criticism as politically motivated and historically suspect. The former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who has said he would consider being Mr. Trump’s running mate, said in an interview that he was “deeply offended” by what he called “utterly ignorant” comparisons. “Trump does not have a political structure in the sense that the fascists did,” said Mr. Gingrich, a onetime college professor who earned his doctorate in modern European history. “He doesn’t have the sort of ideology that they did. He has nobody who resembles the brownshirts. This is all just garbage.”’ 1
Newt Gingrich is of course an inveterate obfuscator of political and historical truth. Notice how frightened he is of the charge of fascism. Once Trump is widely recognized as the fascist he is, the task of winning the November election will be infinitely harder. Racist is not enough; he must be branded as a fascist. In the Tax Wall Street Party seminar at the Left Forum, a list was put forward of essential features of Italian fascism and German Nazism, which are also shared by Trump. It turns out that trumps ideology is strikingly similar to that of his central European counterparts during the interwar period, provided that these movements are compared at approximately the same stage of their development.
The question of whether to call Trump a fascist and a Nazi is far from being the usual pedantic debate about semantics or terminology. Unless the Trump phenomenon is correctly classified, Trump will be able to avoid paying the political price that would come due if voters realize where he is inevitably and inexorably headed – towards a totalitarian police state. Trump’s followers today revel in the misguided media attention they enjoy. Instead, these misguided persons need to face the prospect of being shamed, shunned, ostracized, isolated and otherwise relegated to pariah status. It is only the confidence they derive from being part of a sociopathic, but seemingly ascendant mass movement that gives these crazed petty bourgeois and renegade workers the impudence they need to spout their racist and fascist opinions in public. Deprive them of their crutch, and they will revert to disgruntled passivity.
At least one ignorant libertarian has challenged the Tax Wall Street Party “Trump=Nazi” poster asking how many countries Trump has invaded and how many Jews has he killed. The answer is of course that Mussolini and Hitler were able to embark on genocide and war only after they had seized power, and not before. Trump is still in the phase in which he is attempting to seize power, so it is totally bizarre and unrealistic to compare fledgling Trump fascism in statu nascenti – less than a year old – with the actions of fascist regimes after they had been building concentration camps and armies for a number of years.
Inevitably, academic discussions of fascism and Nazism in their formative years and even in their early time in power forget that these movements appear as extremely radical challenges to the economic, political, military, and religious powerbrokers and establishments of their day. They tend to divert hatred from bankers and financiers (who often help finance these fascist movements) , and instead use every trick in their disposal to focus mass rage on traditional bourgeois politicians, from Giovanni Giolitti in Italy to Heinrich Bruening in Germany and Hillary Clinton today.
Thus, the modern academic tends to neglect the notion of fascism striving to seize power as a radical mass movement directed against the well-known and widely hated figures of the old order. Before becoming a fascist, Mussolini had been a widely regarded socialist revolutionary who had earned the praise of V.I. Lenin. The fascist seizure of power depends on the help of armed gangs of street fighters, criminals, and hooligans who can combine to form the Italian squadristi, the Nazi Stormtroopers, and the mixture of Ku Klux Klansmen, event security, Stormfront, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, survivalists, Bikers for Trump, and Lion’s Guard arrayed around Trump today. These violent and often armed gangs can be used for strike breaking and to attack protesters coming out to protest the fascist billionaire.
On June 1, the Diane Rehm Show on NPR hosted a discussion on “The Rise Of Far Right Political Movements In The West,” which had evidently been inspired by the New York Times article. Among the participants was Professor Robert Paxton, the Mellon Professor Emeritus of social science in the department of history, Columbia University and the author of The Anatomy of Fascism.2
At several points in the debate, Paxton seemed more concerned about the possible overuse of the term “fascism” then he was about stopping the growing fascist mass movement under Trump. After decades of arguing that many of those attacked as fascists were not in fact deserving of this classification, it seemed to escape Paxton that today there really is a fascist mass movement which must urgently be attacked precisely in these terms. He also seemed unaware that many of his own comments provided powerful evidence that Trump is indeed a fascist. These remarks may be used as a clinical example of why academics cannot be relied on to provide political advice and political leadership in useful time:
‘Well, I wrote my book, “The Anatomy of Fascism,” partly to avoid or prevent the facile use of the term, because practically everybody has been called a fascist sooner or later, ranging from the parents who take away your toys to the dean of your college to a politician you don’t like. And I think the term needs to be used with great precision. And we take Mussolini and Hitler as the models. These are mass nationalist movements that build upon a sense of decline or defeat in a country that’s been humiliated. I think you have to have a defeat or humiliation to discredit the existing leaders.
They feel that there’s an illness inside the country, an internal enemy who needs to be rooted out and who’s linked to an external enemy, and so the populations are mobilized in astonishingly effective ways to march off in ranks behind the leader. And finally there’s the recourse to war, which is the ultimate aim of these people. They want to overturn an international system, and so it was unfavorable to them. These were all very dramatic, and there’s hardly been anything equally dramatic since 1945. And so some people would say we shouldn’t use fascism at all for movements in our somewhat less extreme times.
Nevertheless, I think we must admit that Mr. Trump, whether knowingly or whether simply by some kind of instinct, is using language and even facial gestures that recall those of Hitler and Mussolini. He plays on the theme of decline. He’s virtually invented a scenario in which this country, even though we’re – has the most military in the world and have the strongest economy in the world, are somehow seen as declining because indeed there are intractable problems like ISIS that nobody can deal with. And he has the same appeal to racism. He defines an internal enemy that has to be rooted out, whether it’s immigrants or Mexicans or whatever.
And his techniques, the arrival by plane, it was Hitler who pioneered that. No one had ever seen a politician arrive by plane. It’s enormously exciting.3
Trump’s repeated scapegoating and vilification of Latinos, Moslems, Chinese, and others for the economic and financial crimes of his pals on Wall Street, especially at Citibank, has been evident to any thinking person, and is solidly anchored in the Nazi-fascist tradition. The Tax Wall Street Party has repeatedly called attention to the fact that Trump’s grimacing and making faces seem to draw directly on all newsreels of Il Duce. The parallel between Trump’s and Hitler’s private planes is very apt, and for this we are indebted to Professor Paxton. But why not call the Trump phenomenon by its true name?
Paxton also points out important parallels between fascist scapegoating and trumps demagogy of today:
‘Yes. One of the essential elements that propelled fascism, and I’ll use the term for a moment with all the reservations I’ve already expressed, but one of the things that propelled it was the sense that there’s an internal enemy digging away at the very nature of our country. Some of our fellow panelists have already evoked the losers in the economic recovery that was real but incomplete in the United States since 2008. These are people who aren’t really sufficiently educated to participate in the digital economy that we now have or in the service economy. And they need to find a scapegoat. It’s easy to blame a person. It’s hard to blame an abstract cause.’4
Paxton has produced a conceptual scheme for studying the lifecycle of fascist mass movements. In Paxton’s terms, we are now located in the second phase, with the fascist mass movement established and contending for state power:
Intellectual exploration, where disillusionment with popular democracy manifests itself in discussions of lost national vigor
Rooting, where a fascist movement, aided by political deadlock and polarization, becomes a player on the national stage
Arrival to power, where conservatives seeking to control rising leftist opposition invite the movement to share power
Exercise of power, where the movement and its charismatic leader control the state in balance with state institutions such as the police and traditional elites such as the clergy and business magnates.
Radicalization or entropy, where the state either becomes increasingly radical, as did Nazi Germany, or slips into traditional authoritarian rule, as did Fascist Italy.5
We may also be observing certain aspects of Paxton’s third phase, as for example with today’s craven and despicable statement from the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announcing that he will “vote” for Trump.
If the Trump fascist movement is now in the second phase and contending for power, this suggests that meaningful comparisons among Mussolini, Hitler, and Trump should focus on Italian fascism between 1919 and the summer of 1922, and German Nazism between 1925 and January 1933 (when Hitler became Chancellor).
Stanley Payne is another important student of fascism, whose views should not be neglected. For example, the fact that Trump attempts to portray himself as less bellicose and warmongering than certain of his competitors has to be chalked up to public-relations, rather than to any principled rejection of military solutions. As Payne has written, “most fascist parties in stable, prosperous western European countries with mature colonial empires preached a kind of ‘peace fascism,’ unlike their counterparts in central and eastern Europe.”6
Payne also discusses the ritual, symbolic, “liturgical” and other stylized aspects of the fascist mass meeting. The Trump mass rally has now acquired many of these features, with the ritual invocation of enemies who are showered with negative epithets, the incitement of violence against protesters by the fascist leader, the ritual reading of the latest public opinion polls, accompanied by wild cheering and euphoria, the invocation of the wall along the southern border, which will be paid for by Mexico (an example of purely magical thinking), and the commitment to deport 12 million Hispanics, itself a high crime against humanity under the Nuremberg Code. There is also the question of misogyny, which has been raised again and again during Trump’s campaign. Payne writes:
‘All fascist movements were set apart from other political formations by the tremendous stress they placed on the liturgical, symbolic, and aesthetic elements of politics. As Payne writes, “The novel atmosphere of fascist meetings struck many observers during the 1920s and 1930s. All mass movements employ symbols and various emotive effects, and it might be difficult to establish that the symbolic structure of fascist meetings was entirely different from that of other revolutionary groups. What seemed clearly distinct, however, was the great emphasis on meetings, marches, visual symbols, and ceremonial or liturgical rituals, given a centrality and function in fascist activity which went beyond that found in the left revolutionary movements. The goal was to envelop the participant in a mystique and community of ritual that appealed to the aesthetic and the spiritual sense as well as the political. This has aptly been called a theatrical politics, but it went beyond mere spectacle towards the creation of a normative aesthetics… More than any other new force of the early 20th century, fascism responded to the contemporary era as above all a ‘visual age’ to be dominated by a visual culture.” (Payne 12-13) Lukacs noted that a hallmark of fascism was the aesthetization of politics, which he proposed to counter with a politicization of aesthetics. As Payne writes, “Another fundamental characteristic was extreme insistence on what is now termed male chauvinism and the tendency to exaggerate the masculine principle in almost every aspect of activity.” This aspect of fascism has been termed “radical misogyny or flight from the feminine, manifesting itself in a pathological fear of being engulfed by anything in external reality associated with softness, with dissolution, or the uncontrollable.” In Payne’s view, “No other kind of movement expressed such complete horror at the slightest suggestion of androgyny.”’7
This discussion must be urgently continued as part of the mass political education needed to make sure that the coming defeat of Trump will also mark the extinction of his poisonous and anti-American ideology.
The Jarablus Corridor Must Be Closed to Terrorist Traffic, While Fallujah, Mosul, and Raqqa Are Liberated, Burying Trump Under an Avalanche of Real Victories; U.S. Intelligence Community Must Be Sifted for Pro-Trump Moles Who Might Be Part of Terrorist October Surprise
The latest map of the military situation of ISIS in Syria and Iraq as of May 31, 2016. ISIS forces in black and grey, Syrian Government forces (Assad) in light pink, Kurds in yellow, non-ISIS terrorists (al Qaeda, al Nusra) in green, Iraqi Army in dark pink on territory of that country. The vital ISIS logistics corridor goes from Jarablus on the Euphrates westward to Azaz. Cut it and ISIS will quickly perish. It has been kept open because of the treachery and threats of Turkish President Erdogan, who needs to be removed from office. Trump and Erdogan have a symbiotic relationship which must be terminated.
Many factors play a role in deciding the outcome of presidential elections, but a very important factor which tends to be underreported and thus underestimated is the battle of intelligence agencies and intelligence factions to determine the key events punctuating a presidential campaign, which can sometimes determine the winner and the loser. We are now in a time when these critical outside events are likely to play a vital role, even as they are ignored by the controlled corporate media.
The fascist demagogue Trump has unwisely revealed his strategy of attempting to exploit terrorist events as ammunition for his attacks on Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom he regards as the most likely Democratic candidate. On the occasion of the recent EgyptAir disappearance, Trump immediately announced that terrorism was involved and that Obama and Hillary Clinton were primarily responsible. The responsibility of France or Egypt, the departure and landing points for the EgyptAir flight in question, was not of interest to him. Even now, almost 2 weeks after the EgyptAir crash, there is no definitive conclusion as to what caused this disaster. But there is no doubt that Trump intends to seize on every possible terrorist activity between now and November 8 in order to have more ways of denigrating and disqualifying his own political opponents. The situation is made to order for the fascist billionaire, who can pontificate about the shortcomings of others while accepting zero responsibility himself.
It has been essential for Trump to exploit widespread and exaggerated fear of ISIS. A Pew Research poll of May 5, 2016 showed that terrorism of the ISIS type was the greatest single worry of 80% of Americans. Another 16% considered ISIS as a minor threat. (According to an NBC poll of February 26, 2016, 51% of Americans were afraid of Trump, expressing fear that he would get the Republican nomination.)
Obama is correct to argue that these levels of fear are out of all proportion to the real military or terrorist capabilities of ISIS. If ISIS is estimated to have eight or nine thousand fighters in the field in the Middle East, we should note that this adds up to about one division. Hitler at the height of his power had over 200 such divisions. ISIS is an existential threat to the US only thanks to Trump, who can use the fear of ISIS to impose a fascist regime.
Given that the pattern of Trump’s response to any future terrorist attacks has been well established, it will be of overriding importance to develop reality-based ways to neutralize this aspect of his demagogy. The best recipe for doing that is to win real strategic victories in the field. The most important strategic vulnerability of ISIS is their absolute dependence on logistics passing through the Jarablus corridor between the Euphrates River in the east and the area of Aziz-Efren in the West. If this is done, it will infinitely exacerbate the ISIS supply situation, and greatly facilitate the liberation of cities as Fallujah, Mosul, and Raqqa.
The United States could have closed the Jarablus corridor last year, but did not. Russia could have interdicted the corridor, but also has not done so. Britain, France, Germany and others could have cut the ISIS supply line, but have not done so. At this point, we are hoping that the threat of Trump will force Obama to take decisive actions to destroy ISIS in an October Surprise of his own.
In the superheated atmosphere of the fall election campaign, it will be indispensable to be able to point to the fact that ISIS is in the process of being crushed. This requires an approach to the physical annihilation of the territorial entity known as the Islamic State or Caliphate. It also requires effective measures to prevent the kind of October surprise high profile terrorist event which may now be under development by pro-Trump factions of US and NATO intelligence.
Concerning the territorial destruction of the Islamic State, the most important single consideration is to put an end to the reign of appeasement, pessimism, and defeatism which is associated with the political faction grouped around the disgruntled political generals David Petraeus and John Allen. Former Marine Corps General John Allen, we recall, was until last autumn the Obama administration’s ISIS Czar, charged with servicing the multinational coalition, which the United States had at least nominally assembled for actions against the Islamic State. But instead of pressuring treacherous regimes like Saudi Arabia and Turkey to stop supporting ISIS terrorism and start combating it, Allen always tried to convince Obama that the Turkish and Saudi demands were correct, and that the US should grant their demands for a safe zone for anti-Assad terrorists and the no-fly zone plus bombing of all of Syria that would be necessary to make that safe zone a reality.
Kurdish YPG Fighter
Allen’s support for Turkish President Erdogan, in reality a top controller and policy maker for ISIS, meant that the United States could not provide the full measure of support for the Kurds, who have long since been recognized as the most effective of all anti-ISIS fighters. But Erdogan regards the Kurds as arch enemies and terrorists, since they represent the most effective threat to his lunatic dreams of a new Ottoman Empire under a dynasty founded by himself. This structural defect of US policy, caused by the Petraeus-Allen clique, must now be ruthlessly corrected. The Kurds must be given all possible support – military, logistical, political, diplomatic, and economic.
Currently, the most promising development on the ISIS front is the Iraqi Army’s attack on Fallujah. This should be speeded up so the positions around Raqqa can be re-enforced, and the attack on the ISIS capital begun. Then it will be the turn of Mosul. Let Trump argue with that.
According to a well-informed source cited by a Turkish reporter;
“Americans want a victory at Raqqa and Mosul before their elections. Kurds want to open a corridor from Kobani to Afrin [cutting the main ISIS terrorist supply route between Jarablus and Azaz/Efren]. Of course all this may change with new actors after the elections. That is why the Kurds want to make progress on their own plans before the elections.”—Middle East source close to US-Kurdish negotiations quoted by Al-Monitor.1
The other vital consideration is the pro-Trump October Surprise of terrorism, which can probably be mounted by ISIS, al Qaeda, or Moslem Brotherhood forces already sent into the west (EU and North America) as per Erdogan’s marching orders to his terror battalions of late 2015 and earlier this year.
Terrorism depends on the coordinated efforts of patsies (the perpetrators), moles (government officials loyal to a private network seeking to produce the terror event), and technicians (the trained professional experts who produce the required fireworks from behind the scenes, and then seek to disappear).
All three components – patsies, moles, and technicians – must be attacked simultaneously. Put a mole detector at CIA, NSA, NRO, Pentagon, State, and FBI. Round up as many patsies as possible to disrupt their prep work. Lean on pro-Erdogan governments like Belgium, France and the UK that have proven soft on terrorism and tolerant of ISIS patsies and safe houses. Keep track of persons – especially disgruntled veterans with special skills who are supporting Trump and might want to help his candidacy with a little wetwork.
If Halloween sees the Islamic State defunct and occupied by the Syrian and Iraqi Armies, Trump’s whining voice will be drowned out, and his obscenities will amount to nothing. Once the war ends, the refugee flows will go into reverse to a considerable extent relieving the pressure on Europe, especially Germany. If October Surprise terrorist attacks can be prevented, Trump will be spinning his wheels with his fearmongering, hatred, and bigotry. Hitler could never have gotten traction without his Stab in the Back legend (Dolchstoßlegende), the main grievance he cited in his march towards power.
Actions May Foreshadow Pro-American “October Surprise in Reverse” by Obama to Counter Trump’s Obvious Reliance on ISIS Successes to Fuel His Demagogy; YPG Kurds Get US Green Light to Attack Main Terrorist Supply Line at Jarablus, Irrespective of Turkish Threats; Reports Circulating Of Coalition’s Pre-November 8 Liberation Plans for Fallujah and Mosul; West Point Report on “The Caliphate’s Global Workforce” Confirms Vital Role of Jarablus Corridor in ISIS Recruiting 1
World Crisis Radio
May 28, 2016
“Americans want a victory at Raqqa and Mosul before their elections. Kurds want to open a corridor from Kobani to Afrin [cutting the main ISIS terrorist supply route between Jarablus and Azaz]. Of course all this may change with new actors after the elections. That is why the Kurds want to make progress on their own plans before the elections.” —Middle East source close to US-Kurdish negotiations quoted by Al-Monitor.2
Fascist Billionaire’s Operation Fleeced Taxpayers for Tens of Millions of Dollars; Scam Disguised Equity Investment as Loan, Exploiting Tax Loophole; Trump’s Negotiator Was Mob Figure and Convicted Felon Felix Sater; Trump Likely Committed Perjury by Claiming Under Oath He Could Not Recall His “Senior Adviser” Sater
“I’m the king of debt. I love debt.” —Trump, 2016 1
It’s not a loan – it’s really equity. I don’t think they would survive a challenge [by the IRS] —Howard Abrams, Professor of Tax Law, University of San Diego
Photo shows Trump business associate Felix Sater. As …“man in the room” [For Bayrock Group, a smaller Trump satellite] on various Trump real estate dealings, the mogul chose “Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who spent a period in prison in the Nineties for stabbing a man with a broken margarita glass. He was then convicted of helping lead one of the biggest stock fraud heists of Wall Street of the era, involving New York mafia families.” Sater had an office in Trump Tower and business cards listing him as a “senior advisor to Donald Trump,” whom he represented in the 2007 Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium project. 2
During this final phase of the 2016 presidential primary elections, all candidates have made public some part of their tax information – all, that is, except the fascist billionaire Donald Trump, who claims his usual special privilege while whining that the system treats him unfairly. Trump’s underworld handler Paul Manafort has now bluntly stated that Trump has no intention of making his tax returns public, allegedly because they are so complicated that the public would not understand them.3 Perhaps Trump’s fear is that the public WOULD understand his tax returns all too well. Many rich men have run for the presidency, and just about all of them in recent years have bowed to the imperative of financial transparency. All that Trump will tell the public is that he has paid some form of federal tax in some recent years. This is an insult to the intelligence of the American people.
The US television networks should now be clamoring in chorus for Trump to release these returns. His feeble excuse that he is being audited convinces no one at this point. But these US media corporations have focused instead on supporting Trump with free media coverage, which now must be approaching $3 billion in value.
Fortunately, there are other media in the world. Ruth Sherlock, Edward Malnick, and Claire Newell of the London Daily Telegraph have just published a very revealing profile of the shenanigans that went on in 2007 around the Trump Soho Hotel and Condominium project.
From their excellent research, we can already conclude that Trump’s business operation aimed at dodging tens of millions of dollars in federal taxes – lost taxes that would have to be made up by increasing the burden on the middle class, who often pay withholding taxes and cannot afford the offshore tax havens, expensive lawyers and accountants used by predatory plutocrats like Trump.
At the heart of this scam was a slick trick to transform the purchase of a $50 million ownership stake in Trump Soho into a loan. This maneuver, which is seen by many tax experts as simply illegal, shows us what Trump means when he says that he loves debt. The US tax code notoriously rewards debt and punishes equity, and Trump has fully embraced crushing debt, relieved by periodic write-downs at the expense of others, as his way of life.
In addition, Trump’s agent in this entire matter turns out to be one Felix Sater of Bayrock Group, a shadowy mob figure who represented him in the dodgy and convoluted negotiations. Trump is currently so anxious to put distance between himself and Sater that he may have lied under oath by vehemently insisting that he could not recall who Sater is.
Thus, the Daily Telegraph revelations show Trump to be a tax cheater and possible perjurer. This may not be enough to wake up his crazed petty bourgeois followers, but allegations of this type cannot be helping Trump among tens of millions of normal, middle-class American voters who are also honest taxpayers.
The Daily Telegraph report is based on three months of research and interviews and has benefited from the advice of experts on US and New York State tax law. The findings are summed up as follows:
In 2007, “US presidential hopeful Donald Trump signed off on a controversial business deal that was designed to deprive the American government of tens of millions of dollars in tax, the Telegraph can disclose. The billionaire approved a $50 million investment in a company – only for the deal to be rewritten several weeks later as a ‘loan’. Experts say that the effect of this move was to skirt vast tax liabilities, and court papers seen by the Telegraph allege that the deal amounted to fraud. Independent tax accountants and lawyers said that the documents Mr. Trump signed – copies of which were obtained by this newspaper as part of a three-month investigation – contained “red flags” indicating the deal was irregular.” 4
The Trump Soho operation reached all the way to Iceland, which was in 2007 one of the focal points of the world derivatives-assisted real estate bubble. Anti-fascist investigative journalists in Reykjavík will no doubt be interested in tracking down some of these details:
“The allegations centre on Mr. Trump’s business alliance with Bayrock Group, the property company that was building Trump SoHo, the mogul’s prized New York building – as well as two other projects to which he had licensed his name. In 2007 Bayrock struck a deal with FL Group, an Icelandic company that had agreed to invest $50 million in four of Bayrock’s subsidiary partnerships. However, the deal was later relabelled as a loan. In New York, the sale of a stake in a partnership would make the existing partners liable to pay more than 40 per cent in tax on their ‘gain’, based on the highest tax rate. However, if the investment is classified as a loan no tax would be payable. Former employees of Bayrock have alleged in a case against the company that the deal was intended to fraudulently evade some $20 million in tax through a disguised sale of partnership interests. They also claim the participants mislabelled the sale as a loan in order to avoid paying a further estimated $80 million taxes on the projected profits from the real estate.”5
Disguising the purchase of equity and ownership in the company by masking the transaction as a loan is a well-known tax dodge, and tax officials should have no difficulty in recognizing this state of affairs. The allegations made by the British researchers are corroborated by ‘Howard Abrams, professor of law and director of tax at the University of San Diego, [who] said: “Converting the original equity into debt improved their tax position dramatically. However they have changed the labels, but they didn’t really change the economics at all. “It’s not a loan – it’s really equity. I don’t think they would survive a challenge [by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)].’”
Trump’s execrable judgment in associating with a known criminal like Felix Sater underlines once again that he is totally unfit for the US presidency. Richard Nixon, from whose circles so much of the Trump team is drawn, showed the same kind of terrible judgment through his close association with the sleazy banker Charles “Bebe” Rebozo, who became known as “Nixon’s bagman.” The press may soon be referring to Sater as “Trump’s bagman.” According to the Daily Telegraph:
‘At the same time, however, intense final negotiations were ongoing between Bayrock and FL. Their representatives had met in London, where Bayrock’s “man in the room” was “Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who spent a period in prison in the Nineties for stabbing a man with a broken margarita glass. He was then convicted of helping lead one of the biggest stock fraud heists of Wall Street of the era, involving New York mafia families.” Sater had an office in Trump Tower and business cards listing him as a “senior advisor to Donald Trump,” whom he represented in the 2007 Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium project.’
Trump claims to have the “world’s greatest memory,” although knowledgeable observers are beginning to wonder whether he has been overtaken by Alzheimer’s disease.5 Whether Trump’s memory is good or bad, it is in any case highly selective and seems to block out memories which might be detrimental to him. As ABC News recently reported:
‘Though he touts his outstanding memory, when Donald Trump was asked under oath about his dealings with a twice-convicted Russian émigré who served prison time and had documented mafia connections, the real estate mogul was at a loss – Even though the man, Felix Sater, had played a role in a number of high-profile Trump-branded projects across the country. “If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump testified in a video deposition for a civil lawsuit two years ago.’6
Alzheimer’s or perjury? In either case, Trump is disqualified from being president of the United States. Self-respecting Americans should join in demanding that a person who is seeking to get control of the thermonuclear launch codes turn over his complete tax returns of the last 10 years, as some of the candidates have already done. We would also need to examine the legality of whether Trump could continue to speculate from inside the Oval Office, and whether privileged government intelligence reports used for speculative purposes by him would constitute illegal insider trading. America needs to stop Trump long before any of this can become reality.
After EgyptAir Incident, Fascist Billionaire Is Positioned as Beneficiary of Terror Attacks from Now Through Nov. 8; Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan Share Common Ground; CNN Joins Discussion of Looming “October Surprise” Attack on Americans; Thomas Friedman Brands Trump as the ISIS Candidate; The Parallel to the Reichstag Fire of 1933; August Olympics and Sept. 9 Attica Anniversary Are Possible Flashpoints
Donald Trump is now well-positioned to be the beneficiary of any significant terrorist attacks taking place in this country or, to a large extent, in other countries between now and the November 8 US presidential election. The EgyptAir airplane disappearance has shown the pattern the fascist billionaire will follow in attempting to blame terrorism on Obama and Hillary, while conveniently glossing over his own role as a provocateur. From now on in, if terrorism occurs, we must be prepared to immediately answer the classic questions of “CUI BONO?” and “CUI PRODEST” (who benefits?) by pointing to Trump. We must be ready to attribute the operational guilt to intelligence factions favorable to the fascist billionaire.
A significant number of prominent pundits and news commentators have already commented on the obvious potential for a terror attack in August, September or October to give Trump’s demagogy a seeming confirmation, thus stampeding gullible voters into supporting their own worst enemy. But so far, Trump has not been confronted on this score, and his various sleazy surrogates like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have also escaped serious interrogation. It is time for the various investigative journalists to prove their mettle, thus building up a drumbeat in American public opinion. The US population must be inoculated about the obvious danger of a false flag terror attack that would play the same role for Trump which Hitler’s Reichstag fire of 1933 did back then, making the pressure for dictatorship far more formidable.
The danger of an October Surprise is now something of an open secret: last week, CNN’s commentary on the EgyptAir incident suggested that the public exchanges between Trump and Hillary Clinton showed how such a provocation could play out. CNN noted that ‘their back-and-forth could foreshadow the political and temperamental reflexes of each candidate in the event of any “October Surprise” style attack against Americans.’1
As soon as the EgyptAir plane was reported missing, the demagogue Trump started blaming Hillary and Obama. Trump did everything possible to interpret the loss of the airplane as a complete confirmation for his own foreign policy line of xenophobia and Islamophobia. Hillary Clinton showed that she is woefully unprepared for the cynical rage and vilification which are Trump’s stock in trade. Trump’s offensive included the following tirades:
‘”Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!” Trump wrote on Twitter, automatically turning the crash into a political issue.’ ‘”Look at the carnage all over the world including the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Paris, the USS Cole, Brussels and an unlimited number of other places. She and our totally ignorant President won’t even use the term Radical Islamic Terrorism,” Trump said. “And by the way, ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night – another terrible, but preventable tragedy. She has bad judgment and is unfit to serve as President at this delicate and difficult time in our country’s history.”’2
Hillary Clinton’s bright idea of trying to stop Trump with charges that he is a “loose cannon” is simply pathetic and a loser.
Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has been playing a useful role by publicly speculating about a pro-Trump October surprise. Specifically, Friedman has been comparing the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and how this horrific event opened the door to the creation of a right-wing warmonger government under Netanyahu. The tragic irony here is that Rabin’s assassin was actually quite close to the circles supporting Netanyahu. Friedman told the morning radio talk show host Don Imus:
‘The bad guys know just what they’re doing,” Friedman said. “They wanted [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] because that would radicalize the situation even more. And I fear that ISIS will believe that Trump would radicalize the situation even more.”
“I’m not blaming Trump for that,” he said. “I’m simply saying that’s how they’d see the dynamics of it.”’3
Imus had been asking about the kinds of surprises that might take place between now and the election, and this was Friedman’s way of answering. Friedman pointed out that the ISIS leadership, reeling from bombings and territorial losses, would be delighted to see an incendiary figure like Trump in the White House, and also expect that the fascist billionaire might be trigger-happy in sending more US troops back into the Middle East, whatever his ever-shifting positions on this matter may have been so far.
The notion is also spreading that Trump and the Turkish dictator Erdogan represent parallel lives, since both have an existential need for terrorism between now and early November.
From the viewpoint of the forces above and behind Trump who tend to control his candidacy, his very high unfavorability ratings among key groups and in the US population in general suggest that he will need an artificially orchestrated outside event to help him into the White House. Trump’s self-serving promises that he will reconcile with the various factions of the Republican Party have been exposed as a farce through his raving attacks on New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a leading Hispanic Republican, and his apparent refusal to offer concessions of the type requested by GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. A survey conducted by the New York Times indicates that at least a considerable number of Republican billionaires have decided to funnel their cash support to candidates for the Senate, the House of Representatives, and for governorships.
Erdogan’s situation has become unsettled, as is perhaps suggested by the ouster of his longtime sidekick, Prime Minister Davutoglu. Erdogan would need to see a safe zone for terrorists, covered by a no-fly zone enforced by the US and NATO, before the end of the year. As is well known, Trump’s policy positions flip back and forth almost every day, but it does appear that the fascist billionaire is momentarily in favor of a free zone for terrorists under the cover of a no-fly policy, and has held this position since early March.4 Knowledgeable observers of the Middle East regard Erdogan, a high official of the Moslem brotherhood, as the operational commander of ISIS and thus as the premier terrorist controller in today’s world.
Loyal and patriotic United States intelligence officials should therefore concentrate their attention on the emerging Trump-Erdogan axis of terror. The references to a possible October Surprise terrorist scenario made by CNN and by Friedman are part of a substantial pattern of straws in the wind in the mainstream media over the past two months — a pattern which has so far not received the intensive and systematic scrutiny which it undoubtedly deserves.
As comedian Bill Maher said in his Episode 380 on March 11:
‘MAHER: if there’s a terrorist attack within two months of the election. Then it’s definitely going to be President Donald Trump.’5
Thomas Friedman had previously stated on Meet the Press, May 1, 2016:
You know, I think one of the things that Obama has done right and a favor to Hillary Clinton on is saying in response to these acts of terrorism, we have to suck it up. It’s got to be like Israel, you know? “You blew up that bus. In three hours, the sidewalk is cleaned up, no one knows it happened.”
Because if we set this up the way we’re setting it up, if there is an act of terrorism in late October, early November, it’s going to rebound [sic] to Donald Trump’s favor in ways that are highly unpredictable. I saw that play in Israel. It elected Bibi Netanyahu over Shimon Peres after the Rabin assassination.
So you think we’re a terrorist attack away from President Trump?
Could be, Chuck.6
GOP pollster Frank Luntz was quoted talking about a possible October Surprise in the March 30 Washington Post:
‘Frank Luntz, an unaligned GOP pollster, said Trump could erase at least some of his deficit if he capitalizes on the fall debates and other events, noting that history is littered with examples of candidates doing just that. “The big moments cause people to change,” Luntz said. “And let’s face it, we may have a moment outside of conventions and debates that’s even bigger. If you have a Paris or a Brussels on American soil, that can completely change the dynamic.”’7
Charlie Rose mentioned a “huge unforeseen event” in a discussion with Maggie Haberman of the New York Times on May 7:
ROSE: “Is it impossible for [Trump] to win this presidential race, barring some kind of black swan, some kind of indictment, some kind of huge unforeseen event maybe coming from international?”
HABERMAN: “I do think it will take some kind of black swan event, as you just described, in order for him to beat Hillary Clinton…”8
On May 5, WNYC radio personality Brian Lehrer asked former NYC Public Advocate about an “October Surprise” terrorist attack that could get Trump into the White House.9 Although he himself had probably been prevented from becoming New York mayor in 2001 by the September 11 attacks which occurred on primary day, Green was somewhat less than alert to the danger this time around.
The Tax Wall Street is currently monitoring other events which may feed into a chaos and confusion strategy leading up to the November 8 election – a chaos and confusion strategy which has to all intents and purposes already started with the large-scale bombings in Baghdad 10 days ago, and with persistent reports that ISIS intends to mount continuous terror actions in the Iraqi capital as a means of relieving pressure on Mosul, Raqqa, and other Daesh strongholds. This scenario of permanent terrorism in Baghdad is suggested by this report:
“As the Islamic State loses territory in Iraq and Syria, it is waging a counteroffensive far from the battlefield, taking its fight to the bustling markets and streets of the Iraqi capital in an attempt to distract security forces and create chaos. The group has unleashed carnage in Baghdad over the past week, carrying out a wave of attacks ferocious even for a city so used to violence. Bodies of the dead lay scattered among blazing shops and vegetable stalls after militants launched four separate bombings in open-air markets. Checkpoints were also attacked. U.S. and Iraqi military officials say the attacks are part of an effort by the Islamic State to stall any offensive to retake its strongholds in Iraq — Fallujah and Mosul — by refocusing security forces on the capital. While Iraqi commanders characterize the bombings as a sign of desperation, analysts say they are a calculated campaign to worsen instability in the capital amid a political crisis in Baghdad. With its origins in al-Qaeda, the Islamic State has carried out mass-casualty bombings on civilian targets throughout its existence. But the severity of the latest bombings in Baghdad is “somewhat unprecedented” since the group declared its caliphate two years ago, according to Otso Iho, an analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center. Over the past week, more than 150 people have died in violence linked to the group in Baghdad alone, a reminder that the Islamic State will be able to continue to wreak havoc even if it is eventually routed on the ground. The Islamic State-linked news agency Amaq claimed that the group had killed 522 people in the capital in less than a month.’10
A significant possibility of large-scale international terrorism obviously arises in connection with the Olympic Summer Games, which are scheduled to be held in Brazil between August 5 and August 21. Ill-fated Olympic Games like those in Munich in 1972, or in Mexico City in 1968, to look no further, remind us of the immense potential for terrorism. In the case of the recent February 2014 Winter Games held in Sochi, Russia, terrorism took place at other locations, especially in southern Russia. Western intelligence agencies timed their coup d’état against the existing government of Ukraine to coincide with the Sochi games. We must consider the possibility that NATO intelligence will attempt to install Trump-style dictators in countries in any part of the world if the situation seems ripe.
There will also be a nationwide prisoners’ strike on September 9, which is the 45th anniversary of the uprising which occurred in the New York state prison at Attica, in the course of which 45 people lost their lives. The demands of this action focus on exploitation of inmates by the prison industrial complex. Whatever the motives of the organizers of this action, it ought to be evident that there will be ample possibilities for terrorist provocateurs to hijack the strike and turn it in ways which will be beneficial for the pro-Trump backlash. It would be hard to imagine, in the weeks and months before the November 8 election, a background more conducive to the coming of a law and order dictator on horseback than a series of violent prison riots, in which the controlled media could do everything possible to focus public fear and rage on Hispanic or Moslem strike leaders.11
Donald Trump led a rally in Lawrenceville, New Jersey at the National Guard Armory building last Thursday night. His dupes paid $200 a head to hear him speak.
The money for this entrance fee was funneled to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to help him pay back his presidential campaign debts. This fleecing of Trump’s supporters, who normally attend his rallies for free, appears to have been part of a deal between the former and current presidential candidates; a deal which was likely made to secure Christie’s endorsement.
Meanwhile, across the street from the armory, a crowd of over three hundred protesters were waiting for Trump, carrying a variety of placards. Protesters included the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Sierra Club, the Tax Wall Street Party, Working Families Party and a number of other non-affiliated people with their own improvised signs. At one point, a plane flew overhead, flying a large banner that could be clearly seen from the ground that read: “Make New Jersey Great Again #DumpChristieTrump”. This crowd soon migrated directly outside the fence of the military base as they continued to express their disgust at the prospect of a fascist Trump takeover.
The Tax Wall Street Party was there to offer a critique of Donald Trump’s fascist policies. They engaged with anti-Trump protestors and Trump supporters alike.
TWSP members explained to the assembled crowd that Trump is not anti-establishment, and in reality is an agent of fascism deployed by Wall Street to strip the American people of the last remaining vestiges of the New Deal. Trump’s supporters argued for unity around lower wages, police-state mass deportations and jingoism abroad, while the Tax Wall Street Party called for taxation on Wall Street speculation, the nationalization of the Federal Reserve and other policies that would begin the process of economic recovery for the people of the United States.
Later this same evening, Trump attended a $25,000 a plate fundraiser at an undisclosed location. This second event was held to help the New Jersey Republican Party pay back the legal fees from Christie’s Bridgegate scandal. Bridgegate was the Christie administration’s illegal and psychotic closure of several traffic lanes across the George Washington Bridge to Manhattan in September 2013 in an apparent attempt to blackmail Northern New Jersey Mayors into endorsing Christie’s bid for reelection as Governor.