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Wasserman writes: "The man who would make himself dictator is with us because we have put so many like him in power in so many other places."

U.S. Military forces in Afghanistan. (photo: Getty)
U.S. Military forces in Afghanistan. (photo: Getty)

We Have a Trump Because We Have an Empire

By Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

20 June 19


he man who would make himself dictator is with us because we have put so many like him in power in so many other places.

And because we have 800 bases around the world, spend unlimited sums on an imperial military, and continue to use it to tell everyone else on this planet what to do and who will rule them.

Remarkably, many of those rulers turn out to be a lot like Donald Trump.

Think of Trump as the ultimate payback, the balloon payment on the Empire. He is the eternal imperial mobster, a composite of exactly who we’ve foisted on so many other innocents throughout history.

We need to stop whining about him. Instead, we need to apologize to the world, sell our bases, turn our military to peaceful and ecological uses, and stop behaving like an imperial overlord. If we don’t, our next ruler (even if a Democrat) will be just like this one, only smarter and more brutally effective. And then the one after that. And the one after that. And the one after that.

Imagine yourself in Greece just after WW2. Revolution is in the air. The chances for social democracy are real.

Then, in comes the US to impose a junta of history’s most brutal generals. They torture and kill, lie, cheat and steal … all with the backing of our military.

Imagine yourself in Iran, 1953. Your nation has just duly elected a social democrat named Mossadegh. You and your family anticipate a bright future of free speech and economic opportunity.

Then come Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA. They foist the House of Pahlavi onto a horrified populace. The Shah runs humankind’s most gruesome torture chambers. He pumps oil for the West while stealing billions from his people. He’s ultimately hugged by none other than Jimmy Carter, America’s great “human rights pioneer,” who pays for the embrace with his presidency.

Or put yourself in Congo/Zaire, 1961. Arising from the horrors of Belgian colonialism, you elect Patrice Lumumba, a grassroots postal worker. But CIA founder Allen Dulles “disappears” him to be replaced by Mobutu, a kleptocrat so brutal only the Agency could have invented him.

Then try Chile, September 11, 1973. The western hemisphere’s second-oldest democracy has just chosen the brilliant, Bernie-esque Salvador Allende to lead the country to social democracy. Then we murder him. We install the unspeakable Pinochet, who lets Milton Friedman and his “Chicago School” of “free market” fanatics join the general in utterly raping the nation.

This list goes on and on. It dates back to our endless slaughter of the Indigenous. It follows with the invasions of Tripoli (and then the Halls of Montezuma) starting early in the 1800s. Our “Empire for Liberty” installs an endless array of savage imperial beasts to rip the throats from so many innocent nations. Somoza, Suharto, Marcos, the Duvaliers, Batista, Diem, Thieu, Ky … they are all Donald Trump and he is them, along with the next one (like in Venezuela) and the one after that.

The murders of those children at the border, the public billions he shoves into his mobster pockets, the rape of our air, water and food – they all just come with the territory. They are the business he – and we – are in.

As Congress grovels to see petty pieces of paper that will mean virtually nothing to the general public, the Democrats utterly ignore Trump's essential career as a mafia money launderer. It was, after all, Steve Bannon who originally predicted it would be money laundering that would bring The Donald down.

So until they gather the gumption to hold hearings on Trump’s mob connections (see Craig Unger’s House of Trump House of Putin, and David Cay Johnston’s It’s Even Worse than You Think) this latest Great Dictator is just another immune El Jefe strong man, prancing on the grave of American democracy. As he conjures up the inevitable imperial war – Iran, Venezuela, China, you name it – the Weimar Democrats will cave, just as they always do.

In the meantime, Donald Trump rolls along as the ultimate composite of all we’ve done to the rest of the world. He’s not an accident, an aberration, or an outlier. He comes from the core of our multi-century global assault on all things social democratic.

Until we get on top of that, and rid ourselves of the “exceptional” arrogance that tells us we can impose such hell on so many innocent people, the cancer that is Donald Trump will continue to grow ever more lethal, with each escalating imperial day.

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Harvey Wasserman’s Green Power & Wellness Show is podcast at; California Solartopia is broadcast at KPFK-Pacifica, 90.7 fm, Los Angeles. His book The People’s Spiral of US History: From Deganawidah to Solartopia will soon be at

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+36 # 2019-06-20 14:41
mobster trump is our imperial karma come home to roost. end the empire & we end the trumps
+44 # DongiC 2019-06-20 18:05
America is becoming a virus inimical to health, political and physical. A moral sickness stalks our land. Can the Progressives regenerate our nation or do we sink into a new dark age?

The coming presidential election will provide some vital clues as to our ultimate direction. I opt for health over wealth and spiritual values over material ones.
0 # anarchteacher 2019-06-20 18:50
“The consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it.”

― Robert E. Lee

For far too long we have ignored Lee's prophetic warning.

After declaring independence from the British empire in a war of secession known as the American Revolution, the seminal question of whether the new government of United States of America should be formed as a decentralized constitutional republic of sovereign independent states or as a consolidated empire where its member republics have surrendered their sovereignty to a national entity has long plagued historians. It was a key element in the debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution, and eventually led to Lincoln’s War of Coercive National Unification to suppress secession by Southern republics declaring their independence from the American nation-state with its imperial capital in Washington.

The roots of America’s greatest internal crisis and its tragic consequences that have reached out to this very day – the death of the decentralized constitutional republic and the rise of the consolidationis t empire of the warfare-welfare State.

Anti-Federalist No. 74: The President As Military King
0 # Caliban 2019-07-03 01:07
Robert E. Lee, of course, ignored his own warning and tried to create his own empire based on slavery and war.

So, somebody please remind me why anybody today should pay any attention to Lee, his Confederate cronies, and their self-deluded idolaters.
+6 # elizabethblock 2019-06-20 19:22
I'm afraid you're right. Of course you're right. What you do unto others eventually comes back and gets done unto you - or you do it unto yourself.
And it's more than 800 bases around the world. The late Chalmers Johnson - read his books! - tried to find out how many, and couldn't. He said no one knew for sure, but they are in four figures. Americans, of course, don't know about them, but the local people sure as hell do.
+1 # revhen 2019-06-20 19:27
"God bless America?" Could Trump be an expression of God's displeasure with America, a punishment for what we have become.
+2 # dbrize 2019-06-21 16:41
Quoting revhen:
"God bless America?" Could Trump be an expression of God's displeasure with America, a punishment for what we have become.

Now rev, I think you overestimate God’s interest in all this. Were he really “displeased” he might present us with much worse than Trump. You might refresh your OT readings for cogent examples of what he does when really pissed.

Since you introduce conjecture to the discussion allow mine:

The Almighty possesses not only the characteristic of anger, but as
well, humor. Perhaps he is chuckling at the sight of his creation, to whom he willed a brain, using it to think he chose Trump to send revhen a message at the same time the Mike Huckabee’s of the world think he sent Trump to save the US from itself.

The Human Comedy...indeed . Cheer up rev, this too shall pass.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-22 12:21
When will God show his displeasure with his "chosen people." The US is mostly the hit squad of the Israelis these days. Maybe God is very pleased with his chosen people and he is smiling fondly at the slaves of his chosen people. That's how it is described in the OT.
+1 # thehodges1 2019-06-20 20:36
heard a person being interview at a Trump rally he was asked what he liked about him he stated he's honest and open and cares about the little people. end of interview.Alway s wondered what happen to 150 ,000 P.O.W. from Germany after WW2 They were repatriated but mostly they stayed and now we have a wonderful person care for the little people. GOD HELP US
+9 # dbrize 2019-06-20 20:44
Speaking of support for the empire...

Elizabeth Warren:

Says we need to "stand up to Assad"
Supports the Venezuelan opposition
Voted for and supports sanctions on Iran
Voted to increase Trump's military budget
Says we need to "hold Assange accountable"
Says supporting Israel is a "moral imperative"

Progressive? Really?
+3 # DongiC 2019-06-22 05:23
Typical dbrize, painful but necessary. Thanks for the important info.
+8 # logical1 2019-06-20 23:03
Joe Biden will be politics as usual.
We need a new face, new attitudes, even if he/she is old but honest and forward, open minded.
+1 # janie1893 2019-06-21 04:08
Mr. Wasserman is quite correct. Even Russia and China now have dictators who have veered far from the old party line and are producing corrupt, money hungry political structures that will suck the money from the poor, just as is happening in America.
Good thing climate change and its results will kill off the human race. We are at the end of our positive evolution anyway.
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-22 12:49
As this article shows, US presidents don't really matter. They don't make decisions. The real management of the US both domestically and in the world is done by what is called the Deep State -- a conglomeration of corporations, Wall Street Attornys, think tanks, intelligence agencies, especially the CIA. CIA directors take orders from corporations. The Pentagon takes orders from weapons makers and Wall Street investors in war materials.

Trump exists because the US presidency has become a vanity job. That's why Hillary wanted it. She did not want to do any work. She wanted to be famous and to solicit donations to the Clinton Foundation. The presidency is a joke and Trump is a perfect joke. Everyone laughs at his ignorance and his orange hair. It would have been the same with Hillary, with her MooMoos, coughing fits, and her stumbling. Obama was a joke, too, with his stuttering and his ignorance.

I'm not sure the American people can take their government back from the CIA and the oligarchs of the Deep State. It may be too late. Oligarchs never give up power and wealth. They will blow up the whole world before they will give up anything they believe they have by right.
0 # RICHARDKANE.Philadelphia 2019-07-01 09:41
Trump supporters who are asking for insurrection

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