By Prof. James Petras
October 18, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - In recent weeks the White House has embraced the contemporary version of the world’s most murderous regimes. President Trump has embraced the Saudi Arabian “Prince of Death” Mohammad bin Salman who has graduated from chopping hands and heads in public plazas to dismembering bodies in overseas consulates – the case of Jamal Khashoggi.
The White House warmly greeted the electoral success of Brazilian Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, ardent champion of torturers, military dictators, death squads and free marketers.
President Trump grovels, grunts and glories before Israel, as his spiritual guide Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates the Sabbath with the weekly murders and maiming of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians, especially youngsters.
These are President Trump’s ‘natural allies’. They share his values and interests while each retains their particular method of disposing of the cadavers of adversaries and dissenters.
We will proceed to discuss the larger political-economic context in which the trio of monsters operate. We will analyze the benefits and advantages which lead President Trump to ignore and even praise, actions which violate America’s democratic values and sensibilities.
In conclusion, we will examine the consequences and risks which result from Trump’s embrace of the trio.
The Context for Trump’s Tripler Alliance
President Trump’s intimate ties with the world’s most unsavory regimes flows from several strategic interests. In the case of Saudi Arabia, it includes military bases; the financing of international mercenaries and terrorists; multi-billion-dollar arms sales; oil profits; and covert alliances with Israel against Iran, Syria and Yemen.
In order to secure these Saudi assets, the White House is more than willing to assume certain socio-political costs.
The US eagerly sells weapons and provides advisers to Saudi’s genocidal invasion, murder and starvation of millions of Yeminis. The White House alliance against Yemen has few monetary rewards or political advantages as well as negative propaganda value.
However, with few other client states in the region, Washington makes do with Prince Salman ‘the salami slicer’.
The US ignores Saudi financing of Islamic terrorists against US allies in Asia (the Philippines) and Afghanistan as well as rival thugs in Syria and Libya.
Alas when a pro-US collaborator like Washington Post journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated, President Trump was forced to adopt the pretense of an investigation in order to distance from the Riyadh mafia.He subsequently exonerated butcher boy bin Salman: he invented a flagrant lie-blaming ‘rogue elements’in charge of the interrogation,—read torture.
President Trump celebrated the electoral victory of Brazilian neo-liberal fascist Jair Bolsonaro because he checks all the right boxes: he promises to slash economic regulations and corporate taxes for multi-national corporations. He is an ardent ally of Washington’s economic war against Venezuela and Cuba. He promises to arm right-wing death squads and militarize the police. He pledges to be a loyal follower of US war policies abroad.
However, Bolsonaro cannot support Trump’s trade war especially against China which is the market for almost forty percent of Brazil’s agro-exports. This is especially the case since agro-business bosses are Bolsonaro’s principal economic and congressional supporters.
Given Washington’s limited influence in the rest of Latin America, Brazil’s neo-liberal fascist regime acts as Trump’s principal ally.
Israel is the White House’s mentor and chief of operations in the Middle East, as well as a strategic military ally .
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has seized and colonized most of the West Bank and militarily occupied the rest of Palestine; jailed and tortured tens of thousands of political dissidents; surrounded and starved over a million Gaza residents; imposed ethno-religious conditions for citizenship in Israel, denying basic rights for over 20% of the Arab residents of the self-styled ‘jewish state’.
Netanyahu has bombed hundreds of Syrian cities, towns, airports and bases in support of ISIS terrorists and Western mercenaries. Israel intervenes in US elections, buys Congressional votes and secures White House recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the jewish state.
Zionists in North America and Great Britain act as a ‘fifth column’ securing unanimous favorable mass media coverage of its apartheid policies.
Prime Minister Netanyahu secures unconditional US financial and political support and the most advanced weaponry.
In exchange Washington considers itself privileged to serve as foot solders for Israeli targeted wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia . . . Israel collaborates with the US in defending Saudi Arabia , Egypt and Jordan. Netanyahu and his Zionist allies in the White House succeeded in reversing the nuclear agreement with Iran and imposing new and harsher economic sanctions.
Israel has its own agenda :it defies President Trump’s sanctions policies against Russia and its trade war with China.
Israel eagerly engages in the sales of arms and high-tech innovations to Beijing.
Beyond the Criminal Trio
The Trump regime’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, Israel and Brazil is not despite but because of their criminal behavior. The three states have a demonstrated record of full compliance and active engagement in every ongoing US war.
Bolsonaro, Netanyahu and bin Salman serve as role models for other national leaders allied with Washington’s quest for world domination.
The problem is that the trio is insufficient in bolstering Washington’s drive to “Make the Empire Strong”. As pointed earlier, the trio are not completely in compliance with Trump’s trade wars; Saudi works with Russia in fixing oil prices. Israel and Brazil cuts deals with Beijing.
Clearly Washington pursues other allies and clients.
In Asia, the White House targets China by promoting ethnic separatism. It encourages Uighurs to split from China by encouraging Islamic terrorism and linguistic propaganda. President Trump backs Taiwan via military sales and diplomatic agreements. Washington intervenes in Hong Kong by promoting pro-separatist politicians and media propaganda backing ‘independence’.
Washington has launched a strategy of military encirclement and a trade war against China .The White House rounded-up Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea to provide military bases which target China. Nevertheless, up to the present the US has no allies in its trade war. All of Trump’s so-called Asian ‘allies’ defy his economic sanctions policies.
The countries depend on and pursue trade with and investments from China. While all pay diplomatic lip service and provide military bases, all defer on the crucial issues of joining US military exercises off China’s coast and boycotting Beijing.
US efforts to sanction Russia into submission is offset by ongoing oil and gas agreements between Russia , Germany and other EU countries. US traditional bootlickers like Britain and Poland carry little political weight.
More important US sanctions policy has led to a long-term, large-scale strategic economic and military alliance between Moscow and Beijing.
Moreover Trump’s alliance with the ‘torture trio’ has provoked domestic divisions. Saudi Arabia’s murder of a US resident-journalist has provoked business boycotts and Congressional calls for reprisal. Brazil’s fascism has evoked liberal criticism of Trump’s eulogy of Brazilia’s death squad democracy.
President Trump’s domestic electoral opposition has successfully mobilized the mass media, which could facilitate a congressional majority and an effective mass opposition to his Pluto-populist (populist in rhetoric, plutocrat in practice) version of empire building.
The US empire building project is built on bluster, bombs and trade wars. Moreover, its closest and most criminal allies and clients cannot always be relied upon. Even the stock market fiesta is coming to a close. Moreover, the time of successful sanctions is passing. The wild-eyed UN rants are evoking laughter and embarrassment.
The economy is heading into crises and not only became of rising interest rates. Tax cuts are one shot deals – profits are taken and pocketed.
President Trump in retreat will discover that there are no permanent allies only permanent interests.
Today the White House stands alone without allies who will share and defend his unipolar empire. The mass of humanity requires a break with the policies of wars and sanctions. To rebuild America will require the construction, from the ground-up, of a powerful popular movement not beholden to Wall Street or war industries. A first step is to break with both parties at home and the triple alliance abroad.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. https://petras.lahaine.org
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