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“Trump’s Last Three Months in Office? Chaos, The Wounded Beast Syndrome and Trump’s M.E. policy” Tuesday, August 25, 2020 @ 6pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues. Part One (edited)

August 27, 2020

(an old map) Iran. After 41 years of not-stop trying, the U.S. has not been able to achieve its goal of regime change.

https://robertjprince.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/hemispheres-2020-08-25-edited-2.mp3”%5D%5B/audio%5D

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This evening Rob and Ibrahim will discuss what could happen in Trump’s last three months in office. Prince and Kazerooni will explore the idea of the “wounded beast syndrome”. Will Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo stoke chaos in the Middle East as the president’s domestic standing and election prospects erode? Will Donald Trump resort to such a plan?. Ibrahim and Rob look at this period prior to the November, 2020 presidential election as entering a period of pronounced turmoil – even more so than what we have experienced these past three and half years. Iran? Libya? Syria? Iraq? Palestine?

These countries could all be possible targets. All that and more this evening on Hemispheres and the Middle East Dialogues.

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What we can say is that the period prior to the November, 2020 presidential election will be a period of pronounced turmoil – even more so than what we have experienced these past three and a half years. There are a number of concerns about Trumps tactics in this period, that he will create different kinds of chaos that he suggests that he alone can manage. Our other concern is that he might resort to a “wounded beast” syndrome type event.

Rob Prince

Why all the turn over, the instability in the office with the ones selected either bolting from the jobs or being fired?

It’s because on the one hand Trump hasn’t the slightest clue about foreign policy. He leaves it in the hands of his secretaries of state. But these diplomats have to operate having to deal with two conspiring forces within the Administration – AIPAC (2) and the overall Zionist forces and the other one is the Christian Zionist (3) and Christian extremist elements that overlap. Given the intense pressured exerted by these elements – the Administration has not been able to come up with a consistent policy, thus the Secretaries of State, working under such contending pressures, decided to leave.

Ibrahim Kazerooni

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1.

Jim Nelson: A president in trouble with less than three months to go. Will this be a case of “wounded beast syndrome” for Donald Trump? A wounded beast can be dangerous and unpredictable. Does this apply to the current administration? As the November, 2020 presidential election approaches, Trump has been acting increasingly erratic and authoritarian.

This could present a global danger.

Who starts?

Rob Prince: I’ll start.

Here we are, less than 2 ½ months prior to the presidential election. As we speak it’s the second night of the Republican Party convention. It’s hard to tell where this election is going right now. according to the Wall Street Journal “Trump Trails Biden, but Polls Show the President Has Some Strengths.” Biden leads Trump in the polls 52% to 43% at the moment.

As most of us are aware – that could change.

The question emerges: What happens when president’s domestic standing erodes? What is he willing to do to regain popular support. Often they often go to war… 

There is a long history of what the media refers to as “an October Surprise.” A president goes to war just prior to an election hoping to unite the country behind them enough to carry the vote on election day. An early example comes from Great Britain in the 1980s Margaret Thatcher was in trouble, her standing in the polls had plummeted. She instigated a poorly conceived war in the Falkland Islands against Argentina. As a result her poll soared and she handily defeated her appointment to remain in power.

There are American examples as well.

What we can say is that the period prior to the November, 2020 presidential election will be a period of pronounced turmoil – even more so than what we have experienced these past three and a half years. There are a number of concerns about Trumps tactics in this period, that he will create different kinds of chaos that he suggests that he alone can manage. Our other concern is that he might resort to a “wounded beast” syndrome type event.

The wounded beast syndrome in this case refers to two themes.

First, Trump himself. Trump is in trouble; it is evident. He’s acting like a wounded beast in his effort to win re-election.

Secondly, in a more general sense the syndrome refers to the status of the United States in the world which continues to decline, if not plummet. In response, worldwide, Washington is taking on the characteristics of a wounded beast more and more.

What is increasingly clear: Trump will do everything in his power to remain in office – fixing the election, delaying it, simply not leaving office if he loses by declaring a national emergency.

Michael Moore wrote on his social media page on August 17,

Trump actually has an arsenal of plans already in action to ensure he never leaves office. He has them all in high gear — some visible, some not. If you could see them all you’d be so stunned, you’d have to immediately convince yourself that there’s no way he can pull this off.

For the next 11 weeks — and then for the 12 weeks between the Election and the Inauguration — Trump is planning nothing but anarchy, chaos, a call to arms of his angry white male followers and the complete destruction of our democracy. You think I’m kidding? You think I’m overstating the case? Do you want to take the risk that I might not be wrong?

That’s where we’re headed with Trump here domestically.

What is Trump going to do internationally between now and November 3?

If at home he will stop at nothing to create chaos, internationally he’s project himself as “a peace maker” – a hard sell – and a deal making genius.

My sense is that given the degree of domestic chaos Michael Moore suggests he is going to unleash, Trump would actually like to tone down international tensions to avoid some major international crisis between now and November. Here Ibrahim and I have a difference of opinion.

His problem: even if he takes this tact that he’s created so many problems these past 3 1/2 years – in the Middle East and elsewhere – that it will be difficult for him to declare any international achievements… Certainly true for the Middle East. (1)

Ibrahim, how would you evaluate Trump’s Middle East policy? How would you explain the wounded beast syndrome? Will it apply to Trump’s actions in the Middle East? Do you think he’ll respond with “the wounded beast syndrome” in this coming period?

2.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Rob, during our conversation I stated that reviewing Trump’s background, the idea that he tones down after the election – should he succeed – and believes himself free of past constraints from his base (Zionists, Christian Zionists) and goes forth with some kind of reconciliation or conciliatory tone – is far-fetched.

Yes, an optimist – even maybe a pessimist – might say that the wounded beast is going to act differently but looking at Trump’s past history – which Michael Moore’s comments clearly indicated – that cynicism is the only reasonable approach in predicting Trumps future policies in the Middle East.

Trump has already made clear that the only way his Democratic opponent would win is by cheating. So should the Democratic candidate wins, then automatically the question of whether it was done “fairly” becomes a whole issue – and God knows what’s going to happen. The scenarios you mentioned could become reality.

But before we discuss whether Trump has anything resembling foreign policy – be it concerning about the Middle East or elsewhere – we need to step back a little bit and start from somewhere else.

Every president of the United States , starting with World War One up until now, have worked within “over all parameters” that have defined their policies and actions. Each one referred to these parameters as their own specific doctrines. There was a Wilson Doctrine, Roosevelt’s Doctrine, Eisenhower’s Doctrine, Nixon’s Doctrine.. followed by the Reagan Doctrine, Bush’s Doctrine, etc. In the end these doctrines in their main themes minus a few details are in essence one doctrine, that remains solid and consistent.

Rob Prince: Yes, they are essentially the same doctrine when all is said and done.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Yes because it rests on one particular principle but that is American exceptionalism.

American exceptionalism was manifested in a particular manner during the 19th century where the American powers that be at the time appealed their “civilizing mission,” the native peoples were considered “savages” which gave the “founding fathers” an inherent right to expropriate the land of others, to expell them, kill and maim them.

That particular principle hasn’t changed.

When it comes to Trump, he operates within that overall scheme of things and does so consistently. Trump wants to dominate the world as much as Clinton, Obama and any other president of the United States wanted. The problem with Trump and his administration is that they do not know how to do it. They are still stuck in a Cold War mindset; they believe that by pouring in weapons, basees and everything else, they can dominate the region. Look at how they are threatening China, Russia,… everybody else.

This policy becomes particularly clear in the Middle East, and specifically in the case of Iran.

When it comes to foreign policy, Trump finds himself far removed from it.

From the beginning of the Trump Administration foreign policy was left in the hands of various secretaries of state, four of which have literally changed within three and a half years. It started with Tom Shannon, who was acting Secretary of State for only ten days. He was followed from February 21 10`7 to March 31, 2018 by former Exxon C.E.O. Rex Tillerson from Texas, a year and a month. John Sullivan served from April 1-26, 2018 – literally three weeks and finally the incumbent, Mike Pompeo from April27, 2018 until up until the present.

Why all the turn over, the instability in the office with the ones selected either bolting from the jobs or being fired?

It’s because on the one hand Trump hasn’t the slightest clue about foreign policy. He leaves it in the hands of his secretaries of state. But these diplomats have to operate having to deal with two conspiring forces within the Administration – AIPAC (2) and the overall Zionist forces and the other one is the Christian Zionist (3) and Christian extremist elements that overlap. Given the intense pressured exerted by these elements – the Administration has not been able to come up with a consistent policy, thus the Secretaries of State, working under such contending pressures, decided to leave.

The significance of what I am talking about is apparent: Pompeo speaking to the Republican Party (to the Republican Party Convention – August 26, 2020) not from the Republican Party platform but from Israel. This clearly indicates where the pressure is coming from.

Relatiely speaking, Pompeo has been able to remain in the office of Secretary of State longer than the others because of the overlap between the Zionists – AIPAC on the one side – and the Christian Zionists on the other hand. He has been able to maneuver between the two and he’s probably not going to leave until this Administration ends likely in ten weeks.

End Part One; Part Two

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1. Medea Benjamin noted in a July 26 article ..

∙ Yet, for most of his time in office, Trump has been a hawk. For all his talk about bringing our troops home, he sent almost 20,000 more to the Middle East and upped the air wars.
∙ He brought dangerous warmongers such as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo into top positions in government.
∙ The Trump administration’s worst foreign policy has been its belligerence towards Iran. Whether it wanted to undo Obama’s accomplishments or do the bidding of Israel and Saudi Arabia, Trump tore up a nuclear agreement that was working and was supported by the global community.
∙ He then imposed brutal sanctions on Iran that have decimated its economy and brought hardships to millions of ordinary people.
∙ Then, on Jan. 2, 2020, he ordered the assassination of Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which brought us to a dangerous precipice that could lead to war at any moment.

Given this record, it’s pretty much impossible to claim any Middle Eastern diplomatic achievements. To the contrary…

2. AIPAC – the pro-Israeli lobby – the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

3. Christian Zionists – Christians United For Israel.

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. William T Conklin permalink
    August 27, 2020 5:10 pm

    This was an excellent show. Chomsky thinks it is best to vote for the lesser of two evils. However, that will always get us at least a neo-liberal war monger. True, as Chomsky says, Trump might be worse than Hitler, it may be more worthwhile to have a deranged imbecile in office who does not understand anything than an evil trickster who might start a real war with Russia. Either way, the Zionists get their piece of expensive pie and Palestine is screwed. Strategic voting would be to vote Green in any state that is going for the Demented Democrat anyway to try to get another party in the mainstream. That is my approach. Welcome to a front row seat in the world freak show!

Trackbacks

  1. “Trump’s Last Three Months in Office? Chaos, The Wounded Beast Syndrome and Trump’s M.E. policy” Tuesday, August 25, 2020 @ 6pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues. Part Two (edited) | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince's Blog
  2. “Trump’s Last Three Months in Office? Chaos, The Wounded Beast Syndrome and Trump’s M.E. policy” Tuesday, August 25, 2020 @ 6pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues. Part Three (edited) | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince's Blog

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