Category Archives: Henry Kissinger

A Match Made in Hell

The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.

— President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, January 17, 1961

Why exactly does the US government go to war with so many of Israel’s enemies, starting with Iraq?  The costs have been enormous, the results horrible, the rewards imperceptible. The Iraq war was the second in a long series of US invasions, bombings and destructions of majority-Muslim states.  Despite the devastation they cause and the lack of results, the regime change wars show no sign of slowing. How does this happen?

The explanation lies in the MIC and a deeply sinister marriage that has grown between them and Israel.  Israel’s wars have become major parts of the MIC’s business plan. Every bomb Israel drops; every missile the US fires, every Muslim country the US invades makes money for the MIC. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from Washington every year.  Most of this money immediately returns to US military corporations to buy weapons, making Israel a major profit center for them.

By allying with the MIC, Israeli leaders and their militant supporters, who became known as the Neoconservatives set out to reshape the world. The Pentagon and military corporations already had powerful lobbying programs in place. But industry lobbying typically took the form of ‘Buy our product;’ ‘Try this weapon system.’ They didn’t lobby for new wars. Neoconservatives realized that if they could provide the enemies and promote the wars, the MIC would reap the profits, strengthening Israel in the process.

From the 70s on, the MIC and the Neoconservatives have recognized and built on their mutual interest.  Neocons provide the intellectual and public relations muscle the MIC lacked.  It is this alliance of corporations, think tanks, media organizations, and military agencies that pulls the US into war after war, specializing in destroying Israel’s enemies, but by no means limited to them.

The Armchair Warriors’ Club

The group that became the center of neoconservatism started with Jewish intellectuals, many of them followers of Leo Strauss and Albert Wohlstetter at the University of Chicago. Strauss was a philosopher who had escaped the Nazis in 1937. Wohlstetter was a New York-born researcher who became a leading light at the RAND corporation, consulting with the Pentagon on intelligence and weapons systems.  He was a constant advocate for more weaponry and a less conciliatory attitude toward the USSR.

Why were these intellectuals so committed to US military dominance in the world? It started with Israel. The thinkers sometimes called the godfathers of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, said openly that American military strength and willingness to use it are vital to the well-being of Israel. However, neoconservatism is no longer primarily about Israel; it has become the dominant ideology of the US war machine.

Neoconservatism is not just an ideology; it is a paranoid philosophy. As philosopher Tibor Machan wrote in 2007, “The neoconservative impulse is deeply pessimistic, Hobbesian, seeking perils everywhere and turning to an ever-enlarged state apparatus to protect the clueless citizens.” In this philosophy, lying to the people is a moral necessity, and concern by the elites for ordinary people, including victims of their own actions, is a moral failing. Machan says that is not what Strauss meant when he advocated Plato’s concept of the “noble lie.” Noble lies are meant to protect unlearned people from difficult “truths” such as the nonexistence of God, not to dupe them into unnecessary wars.

However, the broader interpretation that ‘lying is good’ has definitely been adopted by Strauss’s followers. We see this philosophy at work by US warhawks every day as they roll out an endless series of  lies to justify their war aims, from Saddam’s WMDs to 9/11 to Russian “meddling” to recent claims in mainstream journals of Hezbollah’s active presence in Venezuela.

When it comes to ideology, according to former CIA officer Phil Giraldi of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the neocons have two unshakeable beliefs:  “First is their insistence that the United States has the right or even the responsibility to use its military and economic power to reshape the world in  to terms of its own interests and values…. The second principle, inextricably tied to the first, is that Washington must uncritically support Israel no matter what its government does, which makes the defense of all things Israeli an American value.”

Their third core value has been virulent opposition to the Russians (before that, the Soviets.) According to History Commons, “[In the 1970s] Neocons saw the Soviet Union, not the Israeli-Palestine conflict, as the chief threat to US interests in the Middle East and the control of that region’s oil fields. They see a strong, powerful Israel as essential to their plans for US domination of the region.”

The neocons set out to popularize these ideas among the American people and government. Young disciples of the founders went to work for Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY,) both strongly pro-MIC Democrats.  Wohlstetter, with his military connections helped young neocons Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz get jobs with Jackson, known as the “Senator from Boeing” for his constant advocacy of increased military spending and opposition to nuclear weapons treaties. He was also militantly pro-Israel, sharing all the core neocon foreign policy positions. Perle and Wolfowitz were soon followed by colleagues Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, and Abram Shulsky.

As Senators Jackson and Moynihan’s leadership shows, neoconservatism was never just a Jewish thing. Researchers Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould wrote on Truthdig “Although clearly acting as a political front for Israel’s interests and an engine for permanent war, neoconservatism would never have succeeded as a political movement without the support and cooperation of powerful non-Jewish elites.”

Non-Jewish MIC thinkers embraced neoconservatism from the start, and their numbers grow year by year.  Secretaries of Defense, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were early adopters, as were UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and by now thousands of others. Neoconservatism has become dominant in the Department of Defense and increasingly at the State Department and CIA and has tremendous influence in Israel and the UK.

Neoconservatism gained this influence through decades of setting up think tanks and commissions and serving on them as “fellows,” “scholars,” and directors. They move between these jobs and positions in the Departments of Defense and State, or in the White House or on Senators’ staffs, or defense corporations, becoming known as “experts.”  They write position papers and op-eds; they appear on TV and testify before Congress. They lie. They work constantly to control the narrative.

Early neocon dominated formations were the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), founded in 1976 and the Committee for the Free World (CFW), founded in 1981. Both advocated strenuously for nuclear buildup aimed at the USSR. Current think tanks founded by the Neocons include:

JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs; AEI, the American Enterprise Institute; WINEP the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; FDD. the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a dozen others. These groups collaborate with longer-standing Israel advocacy groups like AIPAC.  They share staff and funders and rent space from each other. One of the most influential, PNAC, the Project for a New American Century met in offices rented from AEI and included at least six men who later served as leaders in the Bush administration as well as Bush’s brother Jeb.

Two Neocon Documents that Exploded World Peace

Neocons created two documents crucial to the war policies of the Israeli and American governments. In 1997, neocons meeting with the Jerusalem-based think tank Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies wrote a paper for the Likud Party called “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” “Clean Break” proposed that Israel no longer try to make peace with Arab neighbors such as Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, but push them back, destabilize them, and ultimately change their regimes for ones who embraced Israel.  The recommendations in Clean Break have largely been carried out using Israeli and American military force.

In 1999, PNAC wrote a similar paper for America, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century,” advocating massive growth of the US military budget, seeking the ability to wage multiple simultaneous wars and police actions. Authors Donald Kagan, former Pentagon consultant Gary Schmitt, and Thomas (now Giselle) Donnelly, a former director at Lockheed Martin, called the paper a “blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”

Both of these papers turned out Earth-shattering. Where there had been global consensus, at least in word, that aggressive wars and unprovoked attacks were illegal and that conflicts should be resolved diplomatically, the Neocons said that might literally makes right, and invading and occupying countries were legitimate options if no one could stop you. The US Military budget rose from $287 billion in 2001 to $722 billion in 2011. As former Vice-President Al Gore said, “We have replaced a world in which states consider themselves subject to law” with “the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the President of the United States.”

Where international stability had been considered one of the highest goals in foreign affairs, championed even by war criminals like Henry Kissinger, the Neocons promoted chaos and destruction. Neocon Michael Ledeen called for “turning the Middle East into a cauldron.” The Israeli and US governments have adopted these attitudes, and NATO countries have followed to varying degrees. International stability is a thing of the past.  This was no small accomplishment.  It took years of media manipulation, lies, false flags, and lobbying to do it, starting with the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

How to Start a War

Unlike major 20th Century American wars, the invasion of Iraq did not masquerade as defense. There was no casus belli in the Tonkin Gulf Incident, no Lusitania sinking, no Pearl Harbor. Without such an excuse, gaining support for an unprovoked war on a country that posed no threat posed a formidable challenge.  War advocates, led by neocons in and out of government, came at it from all sides.

The Bush Administration came into power in 2001 fully determined to smash Saddam Hussein.  With six PNAC members holding high administrative offices, they had still to win support of the rest of government. In 2001, both the CIA and the State Department opposed invading Iraq, as did much of the military, Congress and millions of American people. That resistance had to be overcome.

In Rebuilding America’s Defenses, PNAC had written that, because of public resistance, their plans for expansion and military expression of US hegemony would take a long time “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. On Sept. 11, 2001, they got (or created) their Pearl Harbor and swung into action.  On September 19, 2001, PNAC sent an open letter to President Bush that called for pushing the war on terror “beyond al Qaeda to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Palestine Authority and Iraq.”

The neocon-sponsored Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, founded by PNAC member Bruce Jackson, a former Lockheed Martin Vice-President, promoted Ahmad Chalabi, founder of a group of exiles known as the Iraqi National Congress, as the legitimate ruler of Iraq, though he had no following in-country.  Chalabi fabricated stories of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda, which were uncritically accepted and disseminated by British and American media and government officials.

A steady drumbeat of Iraq WMD stories ran in Western media and were widely believed, though all turned out false.  Neocons were the source of many of these stories.  Donald Rumsfeld  had set up the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the Pentagon to create “intelligence” that better served war goals than the more accurate intelligence found by the CIA.  OSP was a Neocon operation.  Michael Ledeen and Doug Feith were employed by OSP when they collaborated with Italian intelligence to pass off forged Italian documents implicating Saddam Hussein in buying uranium in Niger.

The string of WMD lies included ‘Hussein purchasing aluminum tubes’ that were said to be suitable for uranium-enrichment centrifuges.  These claims were reported as true in a UK government dossier which was cited by President Bush.  Much of the Brits’ information came unedited and unsourced from the Middle East Review of International Affairs, a publication of Barry Rubin, an American-born Israeli neocon who regularly published very questionable intelligence as true.

Older readers might remember the rest of the nonstop campaign.  Saddam discriminates against Kurds and Shi’a; Saddam is brutal and corrupt, Saddam is an abuser of women. Saddam is an ally of al-Qaeda and was responsible for 9/11. The Shi’a are rising; the people are fed up. American troops will be greeted as liberators. Nearly all these claims were lies or huge exaggerations, and the Neocons had a lot to do with creating and spreading them.

Eventually, CIA and State were overridden, Congress went along, and the millions marching against the invasion were ignored. The war went forward with the horrific results we have all seen. The Neocon/MIC alliance no longer faces much resistance from the intelligence agencies. Extreme neocon Mike Pompeo has been head of CIA and is now Secretary of State, and the even more extreme John Bolton is President Trump’s chief foreign policy advisor.

The alliance is now lying the US into attacking Syria and Iran, as well as Venezuela.  After Iran, perhaps Russia? Whatever lines there were between US and Israeli interests seem to have been erased. The corporate media present whatever pro-war forces say as facts. No matter how many times their predictions turn out absurdly wrong or their statements are exposed as lies, they keep being hired as commentators, experts, or pundits on corporate media platforms including NPR and PBS.  This is true for retired Generals as well as Zionist intellectuals. Their linked goals of American world dominance, Israeli regional dominance, and MIC profits are moving ahead. Aside from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, few prominent American voices are raised against them.

Can this powerful alliance based on constant lying be stopped? Maybe more truth will help.

Attention, War Criminals: Prizes Still Available

In the long, confounding history of inappropriate or unwarranted awards and prizes, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger being named the joint winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize has to rank at the top of any such list.

Clearly, it ranks higher than Roberto Benigni beating out Ian McKellen for the Best Actor Oscar, in 1998, and way higher than the Chevrolet Vega being named Motor Trend magazine’s 1971 “Car of the Year.”

Kissinger’s fellow co-winner in 1973 was the Vietnamese revolutionary and politician Le Duc Tho.  So the almost saintly Mahatma Gandhi gets nominated for the Peace Prize five times but never wins?  And yet the Teutonic Supercock wins it on his very first try?  Irony doesn’t come in any more bizarre a package.

The Nobel Committee, presumably to prove that, God forbid, they weren’t “taking sides,” chose to honor both men simultaneously.  They honored the man who (along with his accomplice, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara) was responsible for deliberately bombing and killing countless civilians, and the man representing the country whose civilians were being bombed and killed.

Although it was never adequately explained, this particular Peace Prize had to be the product of some twisted international calculus—some preposterous tit for tat—where a powerful, highly mechanized country that was committing the murders, and the largely peasant country whose women and children were being murdered, were elevated to equal status.

To his credit, Le Duc Tho refused to accept the award.  He rightly believed that until there was legitimate peace in Vietnam—which included, obviously, a cessation to the killing and foreign occupation—sharing the honor with Kissinger would be a sham.  Meanwhile, Kissinger had no problem accepting his trophy and placing it on his mantle, doubtless regarding it as evidence of his humanitarianism.

All of this reminds us of one of Mort Sahl’s political quips.  He said that if Richard Nixon saw a man drowning in a lake, fifteen feet from shore, he would throw him a ten-foot rope.  And then Henry Kissinger would go on national TV and solemnly announce that “the president had met him more than halfway.”

Which brings us to the present day.  Not that he’s a “war criminal,” but given the Nobel Committee’s obvious capacity for self-delusion and squirrellyness, would it be totally out of the question for them to give the Peace Prize to Donald Trump?  Award it to him in recognition of his having reached out to the heretofore “unreachable” Kim Jong-Un of North Korea?

After all, even though nothing substantive or remarkable was achieved as a result of the meeting (other than Trump appearing even more Mussolini-like, and Kim Jung-Un appearing even weirder and more inscrutable), the Committee could view this as being the all-important “first step” in normalizing relations.

According to Gore Vidal, there is an astounding amount of shameless lobbying, arm-twisting, and self-promotion accompanying the Nobel Prizes.  Chemists do it; physicists do it; novelists do it.  Everybody wants to be considered for a Nobel Prize, and then, after making the short list, everybody wants to win.

Given Trump’s shallow narcissism and his insistence on being praised and made to look “presidential” at every turn, the thought of this man being awarded something as prestigious as the Nobel Prize is almost too gruesome to contemplate.  We think his tweets are insufferably self-serving now, just wait until he becomes a Nobel Laureate.  He could fly to the moon on the gas it would create.

And let’s not kid ourselves.  Because the precedent has already been firmly established, Donald Trump winning the damn thing is not that farfetched.  President Barack (“Have drone, will travel”) Obama won the Peace Prize in 2009.  Anything is possible.

“Realpolitik”: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger in Berlin

After a tumultuous week which brought a number of nasty shocks and alarms, including the shooting down of a Syrian jet by the United States military in Syria, spiraling tensions, and fears of direct US-Russian confrontation in the Middle East, on Wednesday evening yet another horror story jumped off the screen and out of the evening news on German public radio to slap me in the face with the full force of its repellent vulgarity. The most infamous and despicable living war criminal, America’s Henry Kissinger, was once again being honored and treated as a wise elder statesman by a major world figure who claims to be an advocate of human rights and justice.

The occasion was a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan in Berlin, where the depraved one was allowed to represent his adopted country, as it was thanked for helping to rebuild Germany following the Second World War.

I could feel my blood pressure rising, as it does every time I see this poisonous creature fawned over by powerful and influential “leaders” who purportedly stand for human rights, justice and democracy. Whether it is Hillary Clinton, who referred to the mass murderer during her presidential campaign as a “great friend of democracy” – the same man who helped put in power dictators such as Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, overthrowing a democratically-elected leader in the process and ushering in years of torture, murder, and repression, to name only one in that category – or Ms. Merkel, who loves to talk about the “shared values” of NATO and European Union members, but dallied with Kissinger embarrassingly this week before cameras in apparent blissful, willful obliviousness to his bloody record; or Barack Obama, who, in a moment of stupendous and supreme Orwellian shock theatre, awarded the world’s most famous war criminal the “Distinguished Public Service Award” a couple of years back: Kissinger is courted by heads of state and major power brokers as if he had made the world a better place, instead of being a major player in the initiation of the events that have produced today’s spreading chaos and grim death watch for our planet.

“Realpolitik”, they call it, and no one is more strongly associated with that term than the malevolent old German by birth, born Heinz Kissinger, who as a Jew fled from the Nazis in 1938 and emigrated to America. Among his famous quotes are such unforgettable classics as “There are no permanent friends, only permanent interests,”…“The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer,” … “… and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern,”…“It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination,”… and the refreshingly candid “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

For years, as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State during a crucial and formative period in modern American history, he acted vigorously upon those chilling Machiavellian principles with results that have only grown more apparent and damning in the historical perception of anyone willing to trace the development of the current status quo. No brutal strongman was too nasty to merit US support if it was considered necessary in terms of preventing the spread of socialism and achieving the aims of United States Realpolitik. “Democracy” and “freedom” were public relations terms for domestic American consumption only. Kissinger did not only support and shake the hands of tyrants, he smiled broadly and convincingly for the cameras while doing so. His sincerity was only too obvious.

After spending much of my adult life as an expatriate living in Germany, I find such encounters not only horribly depressing, but increasingly revealing regarding the true nature of the European governments which I once considered far more enlightened than the American ones under which I grew up. The death penalty was abolished here long ago. I found post-war Germany’s historical policy of giving asylum to foreigners threatened by political persecution to be a noble sign of atonement for its Nazi past, even if its support for Israel in the face of decades of war crimes and military occupation of Palestine was the morally corrupt downside of that atonement. The environmental policies here which once looked so progressive, in comparison to America’s absolute refusal to take any meaningful steps to prevent the coming disaster, now stand revealed as window dressing and fig leaves, as Trump’s environmental apostasy has given Europe an opportunity to revel in its comparative enlightenment, although the practical effects of that superior approach will be just as non-existent.

Although Merkel was always maddeningly conservative on all issues related to the American alliance – refusing to criticize the war in Iraq, for example, when she was CDU party leader but not yet Chancellor, even as the Schröder government of Social Democrats and Greens refused to participate in that war and vocally condemned the invasion; and quickly changing the subject following the brief NSA scandal associated with the Snowden revelations, after it was revealed that her personal cellphone had been tapped, and she had pretended that the German government was not involved in such activity itself (now known to be pure deception) – she nonetheless represented her conservative party’s left wing. I have defended her against charges that her actions at the height of the massive refugee influx into Europe two years ago were not based on sincere compassion, and on a desire to help desperate humans fleeing from war zones where survival was increasingly dangerous and difficult. She took on her party’s right wing and much of the EU, and risked her political future for quite some time. But now, Kissingerian Realpolitik is once again ascendant as she runs for her fourth term in the Chancellor’s office.

On Thursday, German media ran multiple reports that her government will again begin deporting Afghan refugees who are rejected for asylum back into the war zone, where multiple recent terrorist attacks have taken place in the capital of Kabul, which the German government had until recently designated as “safe” along with other regions of the country (although these claims have been hotly contradicted by groups and organizations active there). A few weeks ago, as a planeload of Afghans was about to take off from Berlin for Kabul, a major attack in the direct vicinity of Afghanistan’s German embassy, which killed some 150 persons, exposed the true nature of that cynical assertion. The flight was canceled and the government said it would review the situation. Now, a few weeks later, they are about to resume the deportations.

The election campaign is in full swing: in September, national parliamentary (Bundestag) elections will take place.  All polls show that many right-wing, racist and xenophobic voters who had deserted Merkel’s CDU in anger over her refugee policy, to support the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), are now returning to the CDU in the wake of her near-reversal on refugee issues. The refugee issue and the issues of terrorism and “domestic security” (“innere Sicherheit”) are all being linked in her party’s campaign, and fear of foreigners is being consciously and deliberately nourished. The 600 to 700 attacks on refugees and migrants by vicious, xenophobic thugs which take place in Germany each year have disappeared from the news: apparently violent neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers are not considered to be a threat to that domestic security.

I thought about all of these things as I looked at the photo from Berlin of Merkel smiling and shaking hands with a buoyant Kissinger, her other arm on his shoulder, in what struck me as an odd combination of Realpolitik-groupie behavior and condescending courtliness. The shame that I feel as an American citizen for the foreign and military policy carried out in my name for many years by the repulsive Kissinger and his brutal ilk was accompanied by growing anger — over the huge gap between the rhetoric and stated ideals of the European Union as contrasted with the reality of its policies; the walls and the barbed-wire fences being built in Southern Europe; the new legal walls and corrupt deals being built to keep the world’s most desperate victims of war and poverty as far away as possible; the continued alliance with the power responsible for much of that war, and the taboo against speaking about the real causes of a large part of the refugee crisis; the infuriating cooperation in the campaign of lying propaganda against Russia, and the refusal to admit that European, American, and NATO mistakes and duplicity are responsible for the New Cold War (as in the case of the United States they were, largely, for the original Cold War); and over the glib designation of those of us who oppose these policies as “extremists”, while those who practice this deadly and disastrous Realpolitik are nonetheless presented as responsible and prudent statemen and citizens who uphold the noble values upon which NATO and the EU are allegedly based.

Any head of state who claims to believe in human rights, peace, and democracy makes a mockery of every word when they honor the depraved Henry Kissinger who, in spite of the best efforts of the late Christopher Hitchens and many others, has yet to stand trial for his unspeakable crimes.  Merkel looks to be well on her way to proving herself a worthy disciple.

A Reformed Mass-Murderer Repents

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.
— Henry A. Kissinger

Ouch! Blindsided by an epiphany. Once upon a time I believed that the U.S. Government looked after the best interests of its own citizens to at least some small degree. It doesn’t. Of course, I’ve long been aware of all the wars waged for fossil fuel. The millions of dead and many more millions wounded and displaced in the name of U.S. control of world trade and resources. All the bombs and rockets that have rained down upon those unfortunate enough to be standing in the way of Wall Street profits. All the nasty C.I.A. shenanigans; including but not limited to assassination of uncooperative world leaders, coup d’etat, bribery, management of the world drug trade, torture, false flag events, and control of the media on a world-wide scale. I figured out ages ago that U.S. elections are nothing but an illusion, that there is no real choice between the two assigned corporate parties, and that voting is an act of complete futility.

There is not a shadow of a doubt that our national leaders collect a salary as a small perk, and that their real income flows from the corporations which they represent in The Halls of Congress, The Supreme Court, and The White House. There is even less doubt that those who refuse to do the bidding of their corporate masters will be assassinated…either politically or physically. That the C.I.A. represents Wall Street interests only, and is, in fact, synonymous with Wall Street. But I now know that the life of any sentient being, human or non, is completely superfluous in the eyes of those who control the Corporate Matrix in which we all dwell.

Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.

— Henry A. Kissinger

The title of this piece has absolutely nothing to do with mass-murderer-by-proxy and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Henry A. Kissinger repenting for his innumerable sins. As advisor, in some capacity, to every U.S. President from Eisenhower to Trump (excluding Kennedy, who would have been happy to scatter him to the winds, along with the C.I.A.), Kissinger has more blood on his hands than anyone in recent history, has been instrumental in the waging of every war since World War II, hasn’t a thimbleful of empathy for anyone, and likely eats puppies and kittens at his 4th of July barbecues. My recent epiphany was the moment I discovered that the “depopulation” recommended by Dr. Hannibal Lecher Kissinger was not limited to the third world, and that U.S. Governmental Agencies have been actively promoting a policy of inflicting upon U.S. Citizens, a toxic combination of cardiovascular disease, morbid obesity, diabetes, various unnecessary cancers, and a plethora of other deadly, depopulating illnesses, since the middle of the last century.

How dare I make such an accusation, you might ask? This is a short tale about a friend of mine from the Baby-boomer generation. A relic from the middle of the last century, obviously in good shape, not overweight by any standards, an ex-smoker and moderate wine drinker. Three mile walks every morning. Then last January the shit hit the fan. She blacked out in her walk-in closet, fell against some hanging clothes, came to, and spent a somewhat disoriented day on the couch. She called me, and we hunted down a local cardiologist, showed up at the local hospital lab a few days later, where she was poked, prodded, and put through the standard battery of tests recommended for someone who might have had a minor stroke. $6000 worth of medical tests later, her cardiologist told her that she had 60% blockage in a major artery, gave her a prescription for a low-dose Statin, spoke briefly about the possibility of future stent surgery, told her to make another appointment for six months in the future, and left abruptly for his golf date.

My stricken friend dutifully filled her Statin prescription but, before popping the cap, did some research. Turns out that Statin drugs are completely useless in halting the buildup of plaque in arteries in at least 98% of cases, and are never effective in curing the problem. Not only that, they come with a list of probable and possible side effects that would make your blood curdle. What Statin drugs effectively do is place a cool $21 billion per year into the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry. Collusion with the mainstream medical community is so seamless and complete, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single cardiologist who would not prescribe useless and dangerous Statins. After all, upon failure of these drugs, the medical community collects an even cooler $100 billion annually, performing stent or bypass surgery. When all seemed lost, and the future hopeless, an internet search led her to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell. They opened our eyes and changed our lives.

Esselstyn’s research led him to study the Tarahumara of Northern Mexico, who subsist upon a simple diet of corn, beans, and squash. Within the community, heart disease is non-existent. Not just low-incidence…it does not happen. Cardiovascular problems in Central Africa are only present among the Masi, who eat meat and drink milk and blood. His studies led him to believe that a plant-based diet was the only road to heart health, a theory that his consequent research would prove unequivocally. Working independently in China, biochemist T. Colin Campbell concluded in “The China Study” that, in non-industrialized areas where plant-based diets prevailed, not only was heart disease non-existent, there were no incidents of reported cancers. The two men also discovered independently that a plant-based diet could reverse heart disease, cancer growth, diabetes, and other scourges upon mankind. Say what?

My friend decided to bet her health and her life on these findings, and I decided to go along for the ride. It’s been four months now. We’re both on the Esselstyn diet. We’ve gone 100% Vegan and haven’t looked back. No cows, no pigs, no sheep, no goats, no chickens, turkeys, ducks, or geese, no fish, no eggs, no milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream, and little to no cooking oils. What we do eat is anything that grows in the ground. Lots of kale, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beans, rice, squash, corn, a cornucopia of fruit, and all the usual suspects from the local produce department. Preferably organic. The results at this point: We’ve both lost about 15 pounds. My friend hasn’t had another health-related incident. We both have more energy, feel generally better, and although it may sound odd…we’re lighter on our feet. The strangest result of this metamorphosis: We discovered that Vegan fare actually tastes better than dead animals. It pops in your mouth, embraces your taste buds, and merges ecstatically with your very being. I’ve decided that the whole Western concept of gourmet cooking is simply an effort to mask the foul taste of dead and decaying flesh.

So why have we been hearing from The United States Food & Drug Administration, all our lives, that we can only be healthy if we consume a large amount of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products? Would the F.D.A. and the U.S.D.A. knowingly lie to us, wreck our health, and lead us all to early graves? When in doubt, follow the money. Observe, if you will, the never-ending mass exodus through the revolving door. Which door? The door connecting the F.D.A. and U.S.D.A. to the pharmaceutical, medical, fast food, and corporate meat and crop producers, of course.

(1) Man consumes animal products: Arby’s, Hormel Meat, Shamrock Dairy, Hickman’s Egg Ranch, and Monsanto make money.
(2) Man gets sick: Mayo Clinic makes money.
(3) Man fills prescription: Pfizer Pharmaceuticals makes money.
(4) Man gets sicker: Mayo Clinic makes much more money.
(5) Man needs hospice care: Hospi Corp. makes money.
(6) Man’s remains need disposal: Local undertaker and cemetery make money.

Man, it turns out, is nothing but a resource to be harvested. No different than the cows, pigs, and chickens which have been shoved down his throat since childhood. He’s contained within his national boundaries in the same manner that farm animals are contained in their pens and coops. After performing his required job tasks, his utility diminished, he’s prematurely robbed of his health, is culled from the herd, and required to do his part in helping depopulate this overpopulated earth.

If you’ve stayed with me thus far, you’re likely asking yourself who the mass-murderer is. Who is this person repenting for his sins? ‘Tis me, I fear. I don’t murder other sentient beings as a rule. Not directly, at least. As a child, I killed a few trout. Whacked lots of flies, mosquitos, gnats…certainly stepped on more than a few ants and roaches. I paid others to perform my major assassinations. I wouldn’t have a clue how to club, gut, skin, and saw up a cow, and doubt whether I could twist off the head and pluck a chicken. I apologize from the bottom of my black heart for all the pain and suffering I’ve caused to untold hundreds and thousands of breathing, feeling fellow-beings. If I had it to do over, I’d have never listened to the opportunists and miscreants at the F.D.A. and U.S.D.A.

But what I’ve consumed personally is just the tip of the iceberg. I also apologize to all my fellow-humans, whose lives have been cut short by the food I served them over the years. For years I owned and operated an extremely busy and popular breakfast and lunch joint in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We were famous for the world’s best Breakfast Burrito, and on an average morning we sold about 300 of those bad boys. One with everything had an ingredient list that was enough to make you a candidate for quadruple bypass and cancer of the everything. The innocuous onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos were accompanied by 2 grease-fried potato patties, 2 eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, cheddar, and jack, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. A pound and a half of deadly deliciousness, and if you could eat two, you’d qualify to have your picture proudly displayed in “The Breakfast Burrito Hall of Fame”. I poisoned my customers in oh-so-many ways. The menu was beef-pork-chicken-turkey-egg-cheese-intensive. Adding insult to injury, we also served a full line of milky espresso drinks and milkshakes. I should really be serving hard time for my crimes…alongside every F.D.A. and U.S.D.A. employee of the last 70 years or so.

There is every reason on earth to go Vegan. To protect your own health and to give yourself a shot at longevity. To stop the ongoing mass-incarceration, rape, and murder of sentient beings we’ve been mistakenly taught to consider inferior. To protect the environment from corporate meat operations, producing vast amounts of methane gas, considered by modern science to be even more harmful to the ozone layer, and instrumental in increasing global climate change than automobile emissions. And because vegetables and fruit just taste better than dead flesh…no matter how much hollandaise sauce you slather on it. We’re in this together: You, me, the cows, pigs, and chickens. Time to end this cruel and voracious cycle of death.

America’s Great Leap Backwards

For almost 50 years, the US economy and society has taken a great leap backward — accelerating during the past three Presidencies. Not only have we experienced the reversal of past socio-economic legislation, but also our presidents and Congress have dragged us into multiple aggressive wars. Now, the threat of a nuclear attack against our ‘declared enemies’ is ‘on the table’.

Since the end of the Viet Nam war, US military ‘interventions’ have become wars of long duration. These have cost millions of lives overseas, tens of millions of refugees and scores of thousands of American soldier deaths, permanent injury and serious mental and neuropsychiatric damage. There is no ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, to quote the US General William Westmoreland.

In retrospect, and after 50 years of decline, the much-maligned Presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon now stands out as a golden age of social, environmental and inter-racial advances, as well as an era of successful peace negotiations and diplomacy. President Nixon, never an ideologue, accepted the reality of a multi-polar world.

Of course, the Nixon Presidency was characterized by serious crimes against humanity, such as the CIA-sponsored coup d’état against the democratically elected Chilean President Allende, the bombing of Cambodia and the genocidal invasion of the newly independent country of East Timor.

Today, he is best known for the far-less consequential events around the ‘Watergate’ scandal and related domestic civil rights abuses and corruption. It was the mass media and Democratic Party politicos who have grossly inflated the election campaign chicanery, leading up to the bungled break-in of the Watergate Hotel headquarters of the Democratic Party, which led to Nixon’s impeachment and resignation. To today’s media spin-masters, Watergate was the defining event of President Nixon’s Presidency.

Ironically, after Nixon resigned from office even greater disasters occurred. This paper will enumerate these and compare them with the Nixon presidency.

Far from pursuing diplomacy and peace, subsequent presidents, both ‘liberal’ Democrats and ‘conservative’ Republicans, invaded Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, and Angola and initiated a dozen other highly destructive and economically devastating wars. The two oligarchic parties took turns in shredding Nixon’s comparatively peaceful legacy.

President Nixon, under the advice of National Security adviser, Henry Kissinger, supported Israel’s invasion of the Arab countries in 1973 as well as the bloody Chilean military coup in 1973.

President Nixon cynically designed the ‘Southern Strategy’, which transformed the Democratic Party-controlled racist fiefdoms of the US South into racist Republican-controlled states.

Progressives, liberals and self-styled democratic-socialists have played a leading role in ignoring Nixon’s ‘golden years’ in terms of domestic and international policy achievements. Instead they focused on inane and infantile name-calling, like “Tricky Dick”, to describe the man. By doing so, they have failed miserably to discuss national and international issues of historic importance. They have deliberately fabricated a distorted picture of the Nixon era to cover-up for the gross failures of subsequent Democratic Party controlled Congresses and Democratic Presidents.

In this essay, we will briefly outline Richard Nixon’s policies and executive initiatives, which justify our designation of the Nixon’s ‘golden years’, especially in comparison to what has followed his era.

President Nixon: The Great Leap Forward

In the sphere of political, economic and social life, President Nixon pursued policies, which ultimately advanced peace in the world and social welfare in the United States.

In foreign policy and diplomacy, Richard Nixon ended both the draft of young Americans into the armed forces, as well as the decade-long US military occupation of Indo-China, effectively ending the war – and acknowledging the hard victory of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front. The war had cost millions of Southeast Asian lives.

Nixon visited Beijing and recognized the ‘existence’ of the People’s Republic of China, effectively ending a quarter century of economic blockades and military threats against the billion-plus population of the PRC under three Democratic (Truman, Kennedy and Johnson) and one Republican (Eisenhower) Presidential Administrations. He established full diplomatic relations with China.

Nixon initiated the Security Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements with the USSR and developed diplomatic policies, which recognized the possibility and necessity of peaceful co-existence between different social systems.

On the domestic front, President Nixon established the Clean Water Act and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with a Federal Government mandate to fight polluters and hold them accountable for the ‘cleanup’ of the environment.

Nixon proposed a National Health Insurance Program – an expansion of Medicare to cover the health needs of all Americans. This radical proposal (a version of ‘single payer’) was attacked and defeated by the Democratic Party, led by Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy who was backed by ‘Big Pharma’, the AMA and the growing corporate ‘health’ industry.

Nixon imposed price and wage controls that constrained inflation and price gouging and actively punished commodity ‘hoarding’. This was a time of rapid inflation and shortages due to the ‘Oil Embargo’. With these measures, he incurred the wrath of Wall Street, big business and the financial press.

Nixon promoted consumer rights, supplemental legislation to expand Social Security, especially for the handicapped, while defending the retirement age for pension eligibility.

Under Nixon, union membership rose to 30% of the workforce – its high point before its precipitous decline to 12% under subsequent US Presidents.

Nixon increased salaries of federal employees and real wages rose. In the following half-century real wages have declined to only 10% of their Nixon era value!

Nixon indexed Social Security to the real rate of inflation.

The Nixon Presidency initiated the Affirmative Action program and used the Federal Government to push for the desegregation of schools, leading to the first large-scale integration of public education in the South. President Nixon created the Office of Minority Business Enterprises (OMBE); the Occupation Safety and Health Agency (OSHA); and the Legacy of Parks Programs.

Nixon proposed a guaranteed annual wage for American workers, which both Democrats and Republicans rejected and defeated! He promoted Keynesian industrial policies against the financial elites with their mania for speculation.

President Nixon appointed four Supreme Court Justices during his term. Three of his appointees supported the groundbreaking ‘Roe versus Wade’ decision protecting women’s reproductive rights.

Under Nixon the voting age was reduced from twenty-one to eighteen years – giving millions of young Americans a greater political voice.

When Nixon spoke in favor of gun control, both the Republican and Democratic Parties opposed his proposals.

President Nixon supported the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and the Endangered Species Act, which have remained critical to social and environmental justice.

Richard Nixon was not a ‘single issue’ President. The span and depth of his progressive agenda, included fundamental changes in favor of environmental and racial justice, working class economic security and broad-ranging health issues, peace and co-operation with China and the USSR, women’s rights through Supreme Court decisions; pensioners’ rights, and animal rights advocacy. He reduced economic inequalities between the richest 1% of capitalists and the working class. Under President Nixon inequality and the concentration of wealth in the US were far less than they became with subsequent US Presidents and especially during the Obama Administration.

No President, with the possible exception of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Great Depression Era legislation, even remotely achieved Nixon’s domestic socio-economic successes. President Roosevelt, one must not forget, operated under the immense pressure of massive working class strikes and in preparation for World War II, while President Nixon achieved his policy advances during a time of relative ‘peace’.

The Post-Nixon Bi-Partisan Regression

In the 41 years since Nixon’s resignation (1976-2017) there has been a systematic rollback of virtually all of the Nixon agenda. Congress, the liberals, the mass media and Wall Street immediately switched from denigrating Nixon, to praising Democratic President ‘Jimmy’ Carter’s reversal of Nixon’s foreign policy achievements.

Contrary to his media-polished image as a ‘Bible-thumping champion of human rights’, President Carter dismantled Nixon’s policies promoting peace with the USSR and China, especially when he appointed the rabidly anti-Russian, anti-communist Zbigniew Brzezinski for National Security Adviser. The duet created the public image of Carter mouthing human rights rhetoric while Brzezinski formulated a policy of backing dictators and funding Islamist (jihadi) terrorists to undermine Soviet allies. The two-faced ‘Evangelical Christian’ Carter sent confidential letters of US support for the brutal dictator Somoza to prevent the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua, while issuing platitudes about peace in Central America.

Carter worked closely with the military dictatorship in Pakistan and the ‘head chopping’ monarchs in Saudi Arabia to launch the bloody forty-year war in Afghanistan, a Soviet Ally. The Carter-Brzezinski-promoted mujahideen war against secularism in Afghanistan led directly to the rise of Islamist terrorism, the Taliban and al Qaeda. Carter’s ‘freedom fighters’ systematically massacred secular schoolteachers for ‘the crime’ of educating Afghan girls in the countryside.

In order to undermine the USSR and other socialist or independent secular countries with Muslim populations, the Carter-Brzezinski duet financed and trained the Saudi-indoctrinated Al-Qaeda terrorists. They were delighted when it spread its poison across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Balkans and the Soviet Union promoting separatism and ethnic cleansing. Their cheers ceased somewhat on 9/11/2001.

Domestically, Carter’s deregulation of price controls led to double-digit inflation and set in motion the long-term decline in wages and salaries, which still plagues the American lower middle and working classes.

Carter appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, who implemented draconian anti-inflationary ‘austerity’ policies reducing domestic consumption and opening the way for the de-industrialization of the economy.

The seismic change in the US, the ‘financialization’ of the domestic economy started under Jimmy Carter and was deepened and expanded under the subsequent Presidents Ronald Regan, George H W Bush, Sr., ‘Bill’ Clinton, George W. Bush (Jr) and Barack Obama. Poverty and permanent unemployment followed.

With deindustrialization, labor union membership declined from 30% of the private labor force under Nixon to less than 7% today. Organizing workers was no longer a priority: The AFL-CIO leaders were too busy chasing after the Democrats for handouts (and get-out-of jail passes).

After Carter, the Republican President Ronald Reagan doubled military spending, brutally broke the strike of the Air Controller’s union by jailing its leaders, whipped up the revival of US interventionism by invading Grenada and sending Special Forces to join the death squads murdering tens of thousands of peasant activists in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

President Reagan’s ‘free market’ polices encouraged US multinational corporations to relocate their factories overseas to Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia, costing millions of US workers well-paying jobs and reducing the number of unionized jobs. The stock markets and profits rose while the ‘American Dream’ of lifetime stable employment in industry began to fade.

Reagan’s threats and his huge military build-up forced the USSR to overspend in arms and strangle its growing domestic consumer economy.

The Reagan-Thatcher (British PM) era marked the demise of social welfare. They imposed the doctrine of ‘globalization’ – in essence, the bellicose revival of Anglo-American imperialism and the end of domestic industrial prosperity.

George HW Bush ‘negotiated’ with Russian President Gorbachev the break-up of the USSR. Despite Bush’s promises not to place US-NATO forces in former Soviet-allied countries, the following period saw the huge US-NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Baltic states. President Bush (Sr.) invaded and savaged both Panama and Iraq, restarting the epoch of permanent US wars.

President George HW Bush promulgated the unipolar doctrine of US world domination, known as the ‘Bush Doctrine’.

The Reagan-Bush regimes emptied the content of the Nixon-era progressive agencies in terms of civil rights, consumer and environmental protection, and wage protection. Unionization declined by over a third.

After ‘war-monger’ President ‘Papa’ Bush, the Saxophone-playing President ‘Bill’ Clinton was elected. While crooning the words, ‘I feel your pain’ ,to American workers and racial minorities, Clinton unleashed Wall Street, ending regulation of banks and investment houses. He re-appointed Alan Greenspan to head the Federal Reserve, a proven master of grotesque financial speculation and the godfather of economic crisis (2007-2009).

President Clinton, passions aroused by the animal spirits on Wall Street (and inside his White House office), launched a vicious assault on the social welfare state, and in particular, low-income working families, single parents and African-Americans. Clinton’s promotion of “Workfare” forced single mothers to accept unsustainable minimum wage jobs under the threat of ending any welfare support, while not providing any mechanism for child care! This one policy savaged hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families. Under Clinton, the prison industry exploded as a multi-billion dollar business.

During the 1990s, Clinton backed the most retrograde pro-business, debt-ridden regimes in Latin America. Hundreds of billions of dollars of Latin American wealth was transferred to the US. Clinton’s ‘Golden Years for Wall Street’ were a decade of infamy for Latin Americans and led directly to major leftist revolts by the end of the Clinton era.

President Clinton deepened and widened the US military drive for domination in Europe and the Middle East. Clinton bombed and invaded Yugoslavia, especially Serbia – destroying large parts of its capital Belgrade. He bombed Iraq on a daily basis and increased the starvation blockade of that nation. He invaded Somalia and backed Israeli land grabbing-settlement expansion in Palestine. He supported the Israeli savaging of Lebanon. He committed treason by submitting to Israeli blackmail over his sex-capers with Monica Lewinsky and trying to release Israeli spy-US Naval analyst Jonathan Pollard. It was only after an open threat of wholesale resignations by the CIA and other security agencies that Clinton withdrew his proposal to free the traitor Pollard.

Finance capital flourished as Clinton repealed the venerable Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 against bank speculation. He promoted the hugely unpopular NAFTA, (North American Free Trade Agreement) leading to the loss of over two million industrial jobs, as US multinationals absconded to Mexico, where wages were less than one-fifth of the US. NAFTA’s savaging of the Mexican agricultural sector and massive bankruptcies of small producers led directly to the flood of desperate Mexican migrants looking for work in the US.

The Georgetown-Harvard-Oxford trained ‘Bill’ Clinton was the grand wizard of talking like a ‘black preacher’ in southern churches while smoothly pursuing the ‘big bucks’ on Wall Street.

After Clinton, regressive policies increased sharply: President George W Bush (Jr), ‘First Black President’ Barack Obama and ‘First Billionaire President’ Donald Trump all supported the most virulent imperial war policies.

The two terms of President George (Jr) Bush (2001-2008) saw unending multi-trillion dollar-wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have destabilized two continents. Junior Bush presided over the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. His anti-Muslim ‘global wars on terror (GWOT)’ was launched under the influence of ‘Israel-First’ militarists who had inundated the Defense Department, National Security staff and Middle East policy and advisory staff in the State Department. Meanwhile, GW Bush deepened unemployment and allowed the mortgage foreclosure on millions of homeowners. The domestic economy was in severe crisis.

By the end of the George W. Bush Presidency, reinvigorated anti-war and social justice movements were gaining strength throughout the country. Arriving on the scene of growing social unrest and with perfect timing, the ‘community organizer’ presidential candidate Barack Obama won the presidency by promising a progressive agenda to undermine the mass popular radicalization against Bush’s unpopular wars, growing inequalities, endless bank swindles, foreclosures and blatant racist policies against Afro-Americans and Hispanics.

Once elected, the ‘First Black’ US President Obama immediately increased Bush’s militarism and handed the criminals on Wall Street a record two-trillion-dollar bailout, ripped out of what remained of public social programs. Elected on a pledge to overhaul the ridiculously inefficient, pro-profit, private health care system, Obama gave the electorate a program of greater complexity and rapidly increasing insurance premiums (‘Obama Care’ or the ‘Affordable Care Act’), which ended with a negative impact on the nation’s health.

Under Obama, life expectancy, as well as, the income gaps between the rich and the poor grew at an alarming rate. Inequalities increased with a historic shift of national wealth to the top 1%. The class and health apartheid sharpened in the US. The transfer of jobs abroad accelerated. Multinational corporate tax evasion rose by hundreds of billions of dollars. The gap between African-American wages and white workers increased. Obama deported more immigrants, especially workers from Mexico and Central America, than all four previous presidents combined!

Elected on a pledge to ‘bring the troops home’, President Obama broke the record for waging simultaneous wars of all previous presidents! Obama launched or backed US wars and coups (‘regime changes’) in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Honduras and Somalia. After receiving the Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize, President Obama provided advanced weapons to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. Obama financed and armed tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists who savaged the secular multiethnic Syrian republic. Furthermore, his administration cynically backed the separatist Kurds occupying Northern Iraq.

Hawaii born and bred, Harvard-educated President Obama had mastered the deep-voiced Southern preacher rhetoric to corrupt the leadership of the social justice and anti-war movements. He coopted the leaders of the mass popular movements to their eternal shame and the movements died. Even the short-lived anti-Wall Street ‘Occupy Movement’ received Obama’s expressions of ‘sympathy’ as he backed the unleashing of police dogs and tear gas on the activists!

Obama’s reactionary military encirclement of Russia and China influenced the foreign policy views of a majority of US liberals as well as the mass media – turning them into ‘humanitarian interventionists’ and tools for empire.

Ever duplicitous, Obama signed a ‘unilateral nuclear disarmament agreement with Iran’ and then immediately broke the agreement by imposing new sanctions on Tehran’s banking and oil transactions.

There was great media fanfare when Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba. This move facilitated the entry and funding of pro-imperialist NGO’s committed to ‘regime change’ along the same line as other ‘color revolutions’. Despite the photo-ops with the Cuban leadership, the US trade embargo against the Cuban people remained in place.

Obama’s State Department and Treasury were tasked with sabotaging and overthrowing the elected Chavez-Maduro governments in Venezuela promoting acts of violence, which have thrown the country into chaos. His Secretary of State Clinton orchestrated the violent removal of the presidents of Libya and Honduras and the installation of rabidly reactionary governments whose policies have created hundreds of thousands of refugees and the assassinations of tens of thousands of citizens, human rights and environmental activists.

Obama’s much-promoted corporate for-profit health program brought some degree of insurance coverage to just half of the uninsured poor within its first year. However, after the first year health premiums rose by 25% while deductibles increased beyond the capacity of many working families. Since then, premiums have risen astronomically and coverage is unaffordable or unavailable in many areas of the country. The debt burden of ill health or a sudden medical emergency has increased for the middle and working class under Wall Street’s ‘First Black’ President. No demographic measures of improvement, in terms of life expectancy or life quality, have been documented since the implementation of ‘Obama Care’. Indeed, these public health measures have deteriorated with an epidemic of suicides, opioid-related deaths and premature deaths of all types among the working and rural classes.

After 8 years, the core of the nation, the so-called ‘Flyover States’, where the downwardly mobile working and lower middle class white majority live, was fed up with Obama’s cant and blatantly elitist policies. In was in this context that the distasteful billionaire buffoon Donald Trump capitalized on mass popular discontent and rallied a populace in revolt against the previous ‘war and bankers’ presidents, by promising to end corporate export of jobs, Wall Street corruption, ‘Obamacare’, competition for jobs with undocumented cheap labor and endless overseas wars. Trump hit a raw nerve among scores of millions of voters when he accused the earlier Bush Administration of fabricating the pretexts for the invasion of Iraq as well as for security failures in the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

Within weeks after taking office President Trump gracefully performed an Obama-style ‘about-face’ and emerged a re-anointed warmonger of the Hillary Clinton variety: He celebrated his transformation by bombing Syria, Afghanistan and the defenseless, starving people of Yemen. He sent warships off the coast of North Korea, placed advanced missile installations in South Korea and threatened nuclear war in Asia.

Trump miserably failed to ‘reform’ the corporate health plan concocted by his smirking predecessor. He shed his promise to seek peaceful relations with Moscow and embraced the policies of the worst anti-Russian liberal warmongers groomed by Clinton and Obama. Obama’s overt war posturing had so deeply influenced African-American politicians that they loudly accused Trump of being ‘too soft on Russia’! Former civil rights leaders-turned politicians were calling for greater US military interventions – a spectacle what would have made our sacred civil rights martyrs rolling in their graves.

Trump, building on the immense power already entrenched in Washington, reinforced and expanded the role of finance capital and the Pentagon in determining US policy. Trump pledged to exceed Obama’s arrest and expulsion of immigrants – from 2.5 million workers in eight years to an additional 5 million in his first four-year term.

The US corporate mass media and the liberal left have been pushing the pro-business President Trump even further to the right – demanding the US escalate its nuclear threat against North Korea, mount a full invasion of Syria (for its ‘crimes against humanity’) and, above all, ‘tighten the military noose’ around Russia and China.

Conclusion

By any measure, the policies of President Richard Milhous Nixon were more socially progressive, less militarist and less servile to Wall Street than any and all of the subsequent US Presidents. This assessment is heresy to the current historical narratives promoted by both political parties and the corporate media-academic nexus.

But even during the Nixon Presidency there were already signs of an allied liberal-rightist attack on his progressive ‘conservative’ agenda. Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy blocked Nixon’s proposal for a universal national health system built on an expansion of the highly successful ‘Medicare Program’. Nixon’s proposal (a ‘Medicare For All’) would have been far more comprehensive, effective and affordable than the corporate boondoggles cooked up by the Clinton and Obama Administrations.

What accounts for the dramatic shift from the center left to the far right among US Presidents after the 1970’s? What explains the rise and demise of ‘Nixonian’ progressivism and the great leap backward in the subsequent four and half decades?

Personality and personal background are not irrelevant: Nixon’s class and work background and personal experience with the Great Depression framed some of his outlook despite his ‘conservative’ credentials. However, the social and political balance of forces played the decisive role. Richard Nixon came to national attention as a rightwing militarist and aggressive attack dog for Senator Joesph McCarthy during the 1950s and at the beginning of his Presidential term in the late 1960’s. However, the reality of the multi-million-person anti-war movement challenged American society and influenced the armed forces from within. Even sectors of the mass media became highly critical of the permanent war state. This movement filled the streets, divided families and influenced the institutions and communities leading to a dramatic change in Nixon’s politics toward peace and even toward social and racial justice. Nixon truly became a ‘realist’.

In those days, the industrial trade unions were powerful. Manufacturing formed the basis of the economy and determined the direction of the banking-finance sector. Wall Street played ‘second fiddle’ to production.

Fed up with the lack of social progress and opportunity in their communities, African American revolts in the streets were far more effective than the tame black Democratic Party politicos in Congress.

The decline of the social movements and militant labor unions, as well as the retreat to electoral politics among the African American and anti-war movements, ended the independent popular pressure and facilitated the rising power of the pro-war, Wall Street-controlled parties linked to money and speculation. Labor unions became the fiefdoms of corrupt millionaire union bosses who bought protection from prosecution with multi-million dollar campaign donations to both Democrats and Republican politicians. They discarded the Nixon’s social agenda, using the ‘Watergate Scandal’ as a pretext to dismantle his advanced programs.

Presidents and Congresses became beholden to the bankers. The rise, dominance and deep corruption of the Wall Street speculators realigned the economy away from domestic manufacturing to international finance – leading to the great relocation of US factories abroad and the permanent marginalization of the once-organized American working class.

Voters were marginalized as active participants in their own public affairs. They alternated their disaffection between parties and candidates, between big and small spenders, indicted and unindicted swindlers, and exposed and unpunished perverts.

The domestic changes in the economy and social structure were the direct outcome of these shifts in the social and political struggles and organizations.

There is a dialectical relationship between socio-economic changes and the rise and fall of socio-political struggles.

These domestic shifts of power and policy were influenced by the major changes in global power, namely the demise of the USSR, the decline of secular-nationalist regimes in the Middle East, the defeat of the left in Latin America and, above all, the rise of the US imperial doctrines of unipolar power and the globalization. The ‘changing times’ explains everything and nothing! While the objective world determines politics, so do the subjective responses of Presidents.

President Richard Nixon could have escalated the Vietnam War up to a nuclear attack on Hanoi: This is what the current Obama-Trump militarist advisors now recommend for the North Koreans. Nixon could have followed the rightwing ‘free market’ ideology of the Republican-Goldwater faction. However, Nixon took a pragmatic, peace and social reformist position – which have brought us some of our most cherished programs – EPA, OSHA, SALT disarmament, relations with China, even Roe versus Wade, and an end to the military draft.

Subsequent Presidents, faced with the shifts in political, social and economic power, chose to re-direct the nation toward greater militarism and the domination of finance capital. They have systematically attacked and dismantled the social welfare programs, environmental protection, pro-industry legislation, diplomacy and peace pacts initiated by Nixon.

The aphorism, ‘man makes history but not of his own doing’, is central to our discussion of the Nixon legacy. The process of regression is a cumulative process, of leaps and steps. In recent years, regression has accelerated with devastating results for the domestic and world populations. Social power, concentrated at the top, weakens but also alienates power at the bottom and middle. The current configuration of power and policies cannot be permanent, even if the trajectory so far has favored the elite. Social classes and groups are not fixed in their orientations.

Twice in recent years, significant majorities voted for jobs, justice and peace (Obama and Trump) and instead got charlatans bringing greater inequality, injustice and endless wars.

Deception and deep commitments to reactionary politics have penetrated widely among the ‘discontented classes’. African-American political leaders and pundits now demand war against Russia following the pronouncements of their ‘Black President’, Barack Obama. Poor marginalized white workers still support their billionaire leader Donald Trump as he waltzes down Wall Street and into possible nuclear war.

The dialectic of discontent and resentment can lead to progressive or reactionary political and social alignments, even, or especially, in the face of history’s great leap backwards!