Does the Washington Establishment Seek War with Russia?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

Which does the Washington’s Establishment prefer: a U.S. President who wants to reach new agreements with Russia, or a U.S. President who wants to replace all of Russia’s allies?

What we’ve been having recently is solely Presidents who want to replace all of Russia’s allies — and they’ve been succeeding at that, so far:

They replaced Saddam Hussein.

They replaced Muammar Gaddafi.

They replaced Viktor Yanukovych.

They’re still trying to replace Bashar al-Assad, and also Iran’s leadership.

There still is question, however, as to whether U.S. President Donald Trump will continue this string; and many in America’s ‘news’media consider him to be too favorable toward Russia. The aristocracy own the few ‘news’media that have substantial audiences in the U.S., and their advertisers are also overwhelmingly owned by them; and the politicians’ campaigns tend also to be receiving most of their money from them; so, generally, it’s considered political suicide to buck what the few billionaires are rather united on in America, and what they seem quite united on right now is that Mr. Trump isn’t sufficiently anti-Russian. For a government official in this country to view Russia as even potentially an ally instead of an enemy, is increasingly viewed as treasonous in America, and any contacts that Mr. Trump might have been trying to nurture so as to establish an alliance with Russia on anything — even merely an alliance against international jihadists — is being treated in America’s press as treasonous — as if Russia were still the entire U.S.S.R.; and communism were still a threat, and there still existed the Soviet Union’s military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, as being a counter-weight to America’s NATO alliance. But those assumptions about Russia are obviously false. So: do America’s billionaires still simply want to conquer Russia, instead of to be allied with it, even in that limited way, as a global alliance to crush jihadists?

The newsmedia pick up from the Democrats and the other neoconservatives, and therefore Trump is being pressed hard on his being ‘Putin’s stooge’ or even ‘Putin’s Manchurian candidate,’ though the presumption in those statements is that Russia is doomed to be America’s enemy unless America outright conquers it — and this is a war-mongering and arrogant presumption for the U.S. government to be making about Russia, and it’s also very far from being a realistic assumption about Russia. Will Russia tolerate having all of its allies overthrown by the U.S. (a project that the U.S. has already come close to completing)? How many more U.S. nuclear missiles will Russia accept being placed near and on its borders in formerly allied countries that now are in NATO — that are in the anti-Russia military club, but were formerly in the U.S.S.R., or else in its Warsaw Pact? If you were a Russian, would you now be scared?

Trump made clear during his campaign, that he wants to be allied with Putin’s consistent war against “radical Islamic terrorism” — no one can challenge that Putin has always, and consistently, been uncompromisingly determined to oppose that — never to arm nor train jihadists like the U.S. and its Saudi ‘ally’ the Saud family, do (in order to overthrow Russia’s allies).

So: which of the two is scary — the Hillary Clinton and John McCain crowd, the neocons, who dominate both Parties and want to crush Russia; or the few people in Washington who (at least until Trump became elected) were that crowd’s enemies? It’s looking like Trump has joined the neocons, after an election in which he was opposed by them.

As soon as Trump became elected, his fear of being dubbed ‘Putin’s stooge’ or ‘Putin’s Manchurian candidate’ caused him to appoint a national-security team who were hell-bent on replacing Russia’s remaining allies, Iran and Syria. But even this hasn’t been enough to satisfy the neocons who run both Parties, and the newsmedia. Trump has been trying to accommodate the people who are doing all they can to bring him down, but it doesn’t seem to be appeasing them. The Washington Establishment has terrified him away from his campaign promise of creating an alliance with Russia to cooperate together in wiping out jihadism — and jihadism is something that didn’t even exist in modern times until the U.S. and its Saud allies introduced it into Afghanistan in 1979 to overthrow the secular, Soviet-allied leader of that country, Nur Muhammed Taraki. This joint effort with the Sauds created jihadism in the modern age. Zbigniew Brzezinski said of his and the CIA’s and the Sauds’ achievement, in a 1998 interview, “Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” It became the model for what they’re now doing to Syria (which is causing all those refugees into Europe).

Trump had said that his top national-security priority would be against jihadism, not against Russia and its allies. But, so far, his foreign policy in this regard seems more like what had been widely anticipated in the event of a Hillary Clinton win. (Even Trump’s focus against “radical Islamic terrorism” is directed now almost exclusively against seven mainly Shiite nations that America’s Saudi allies — who are fundamentalist Sunnis and hate Shia muslims — despise. So: it’s no different from Hillary Clinton’s. And two of those Shiite-run nations, Iran and Syria, are backed by Russia; so, Trump might just be continuing his predecessor’s pro-Saud policy there.) Yet nonetheless, the neoconservatives press on with investigations of whether Trump is a secret Russian agent. The leading headline in the Wall Street Journal on March 30th was “Trump’s Rapid Rapprochement Plans With Russia Fade” and the report noted that Trump’s appointees are advising him against any relaxation of the previous President’s anti-Russia policies, but failed to indicate that (with the exception of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson), all of them are long-committed neoconservatives and NATO enthusiasts. Either candidate Trump’s ameliorative statements regarding Russia were intended merely in order to win votes, away from the super-hawk Hillary Clinton, from some independents and Bernie Sanders supporters, or else Trump is very easy for the Cold War Establishment (the “neoconservatives,” today’s Washington Establishment in both Parties) to manipulate.

What does the Washington Establishment really want? What is their real demand? Putin’s head on a stake? Or. do they really want Trump’s head on a stake, for some entirely different reason? The motivations that they are stating for wanting to replace Trump by his Vice President, Mike Pence — a rabid neoconservative — don’t make sense; and, the ‘evidence’ they’re basing this campaign on, is, as of yet, after months of trying, still more smears than authentic evidence. And it’s based on false allegations regarding America’s and Russia’s respective involvements in Ukraine and in Syria. Clearly, there are ulterior motives behind this coordinated bipartisan lying campaign. And they seem to be winning — whatever their real motivations are.

Is this a palace coup? And, if so, what’s the real motivation for it? Why do they want Mike Pence to be the U.S. President? What’s their real goal in this bipartisan campaign to replace Trump with Pence?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • wehaveseenthisb4

    Probably the right message but the wrong messenger. Sadly Trump is so reckless, foolish and ignorant with his mouth he (and his people) are incapable of coherently explaining themselves. In addition, since 1979 Trump, his businesses and business associates have entanagled themselves with a very unpopular hostile foreign power. Even if they possessed the necessary language and behavioral skills to do so they would have posioned the audiance against them with their antisocial posturing and behavior.

  • DH

    Eric … Always enjoy your posts. I voted for Trump because I hoped that there would have been a chance of easing tensions with Moscow and perhaps starting to roll back the empire. It appears that this will not be the case. I agree with you, as Trump seems to now be in the neo con orbit, it appears this makes no difference, as there has been an ongoing effort to delegitimze or remove him.
    There is something more going on here.
    Final note, if nothing else Trump removed the Clintons and Bushes and the deep state has been exposed. Indeed our political ruling class on both sides have been exposed and it does not look pretty. As it turns out, it was not a swamp, but a cess pool.
    It is apparent for anyone half paying attention, we do not have a government of the people or for the people.

  • iseeit

    At your best Mr. Zuesse.
    Your grasp of current history is very well expressed.

  • jo6pac
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  • cstahnke

    The neoconservative has deep intellectual and historical roots and take a “long view” of history. Their strength lies in the fact their ideology has some substance and rigor to it in contrast to “progressives” who seem to live in a philosophical muddle. Neocons are deeply rooted in the Western humanist tradition and, as such (war has always been considered a way to build character) they believed that U.S. society would fall into hedonism and factionalism/tribalism without a common enemy. 9/11 was the perfect event for them to create an “enemy” (closely connected with U.S. intel) to bring urgency and meaning to the public. And, in fact, the public was ready for it–the outpouring of war-fever after 9/11 showed the fervor that could be mined in a society that has largely lost its sense of meaning, besides consuming mass quantities. Sadly, the stupidity and corruption this “Global War on Terror” gradually caused the public to lose interest and the designated creators of the myths we live by (the MSM) lost a lot of prestige with the public.

    Because the Deep State had lost interest, probably due to factionalism and disarray, in going the full Orwell and creating additional acts of “terror” within U.S. borders a coherent enemy with nuclear weapons and a strong leader who had a long history of being an enemy (some people seem to believe that Russia is still the USSR) was not “needed” but required to keep the Deep State going in perpetuity. So the “terror” Narrative gradually diminished starting with Clinton’s stay as Secretary of State to reach full crescendo with Clinton’s campaign. Trump, to his credit understood this perfectly and played up the “terrorism” meme for all it was worth to directly counter what became the dominant faction within the Deep State in order to win the election. The more simple minded among us were still believing that Sharia law would be imposed shortly in certain major cities so Trump exploited this ignorance by focusing on what had been a commonly accepted “threat” because the “Soviet” threat did not have time to sufficiently mature. Now, with the propaganda organs and the Deep State machinations Trump is being forced (through threats to his life and family) to becoming more confrontational with the Russians. Since I know that the POTUS has almost no power when it comes to major policy decisions he is, like Obama, completely vulnerable to the shifting winds of the machinations public but mainly private within the Deep State.

    Trump is now playing a lot of golf because he knows he has no power and is simply waiting for the still in play pecking order within the Imperial Court. Just a word about that “Court” — in ancient times there were Emperors or Sultans but today that is not needed–we live at a time of networks and emergent intelligence–we don’t need no stinkin’ Emperors.

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    • awb22

      Trump is still King, a savior of sorts. His administrations is beset on all sides, from within and without. Even so, regarding foreign policy, and I’ve made this point before, when Eric previously made exactly the same point about Trump abdicating his campaign promises. Without even recognizing what Liberal has ever been held accountable for not keeping their word, Trump still hasn’t turned on Russia. It would be foolish. Of course, the US can win a conventional, unconventional, or even nuclear war with either Russia or China, but not both, and depending on how you define win.

      Eric seems driven to hold Trump to a standard by which none of his predecessors have been held, belying his Liberal roots, which still doesn’t explain his Muslim sympathies, except that he hates God. So, let’s call a spade a spade, and just accept that Eric doesn’t like Trump for ideological reasons, and therefore Trump can do no good in his eyes.

      • cstahnke

        I’m not sure the U.S. can “win” any war at this point. You’d think so–but we forget,I think, how the prime reason for the existence of the U.S. military is to make money not win wars.

  • Sarastro92

    True, the Deep State and their MSM dupes are organizing a coup against Drump… very
    sinister, but as an independent who didn’t for HRC or Drump, I’m indifferent to
    DT’s fate. Throw him to the dogs. I can’t rally around a vicious Oligarch who
    is brings only blight to my life and most of America. Drump needs and deserves
    a Mussolini Farewell and nothing more…

  • Jim G

    The problem with politicizing the relationships is that we ignore the economic reality. The situation is exactly like WWII in that we are in a debt depression, and we aren’t going to get out of it unless we steal markets and treasure from other countries. All these wars are essentially wars of re-colonialization. In Libya, we took their gold, their oil companies, and their banks in all cases to support the petro-dollar. In Afghanistan the objective is to have to opium growers use our banks as we protect their opium fields. In Iraq we took their gold, their oil companies and their banks. Thus opium overdose deaths are higher than auto deaths here in Wisconsin and other states, including New Hampshire. The banks, especially in Europe are going broke. Europe is falling to pieces. They owe us so much money that if they go broke, so does the US, and Europe is self destructing. Thus NATO and the Ukraine – so they have to stay committed. Russia and China don’t want to be US vassals, want to return to the gold standard and have their own currencies. They can’t do that! Russia need to sell their oil and gas to Europe for DOLLARS. Trump didn’t realize the stakes, so he was schooled by our friends the big NY Banks and Goldman Sacs. What the Dems are worried about is that if our banks go, so go all our wonderful welfare programs and Social security, and everyone’s pensions. They would prefer risking war with Russia (everyone thinks they can back China and Russia down) to going broke, like say Venezuela. And that’s why the big banks are still supporting the unsustainable stock and bond markets – pure desperation. In the end it is either war with Russia and China, or Civil War unless this supposedly Financial and business site puts our Financial solutions instead of complaining about the coming war. How about just not paying the debt back or taxing the elite so they pay for their wars? Come on guys. You keep focusing on the political theatre and its either WWIII or Civil War. There must be some way out of here or its “ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”

    • Nexusfast123

      The model of conquest as you describe is dead for a couple reasons. First is the obvious one which that a war waged with nukes destroys civilisation. The second is more subtle which is that we have now probably reached the point where stealing other peoples resources is really now an act of increasingly diminishing returns undertaken against a backdrop of stagnant economies and debt.

      • Jim G

        Weapons of mass destruction didn’t stop WWII, and we think we can pressure Russia and China without war, and then there is the theory of controlled escalation that the security state is quite attached to, and if there is a war, we win, right? Next we have the Georgia Guidestone’s where the optimum population of the planet is 500 million, making about 90% of the population environmentally unfriendly. You think the people in the bunkers give a damn about the rest of us? The Brits have been stealing people’s resources for hundreds of years, before that the Spanish, before that the Catholic Church, before that the Romans, before that the Greeks, and on and on through time. It’s the natural order the Old Testament talks about. “The meek are meat for the strong to eat.” I think you are a bit optimistic about where this is going. Think about it. What happens if the bond and stock markets collapse and the US and Monsanto go broke?

  • Why, Does the Washington Establishment Seek War with Russia?

    Because the US establishment is unable to remain in charge unless they’re at war, and they have been for the 93% of the time out of 242 years.

    War is the only way the Straussian thinking Neocons can remain in charge and get to divert US taxpayers funds to the MIC.

    As for regime changes, in 2015, Russian state owned assets were estimated at 70 Trillion, 50 Trillion of that are hydrocarbons, which makes one wonder about that new oilfield in the Southern part of the Golan heights where Cheney & other Neocons have been granted a licence to drill, what would be the estimated value of that?

    Watch out Venezuela.

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  • David Schultz

    Let’s say it plain and simple. At some point you have to consider that simply trading directly with Russia may be more profitable than steal stuff from their allies. As an American tax payer I have to pay for the military adventurism and see none of the gain from plundering those countries.