18:02 GMT +317 January 2017
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    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) greets retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for a meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016

    The Rules of the (Trump) Game

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    Pepe Escobar
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    Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis, chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to be the new head of the Pentagon, is a model functionary of the Empire of Chaos.

    His call sign is – what else – "chaos". The Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) even shared his regular accolade; "Saint Mattis of Quantico, Patron Saint of Chaos". The Saint in his pop incarnation comes fully equipped with a grenade and a knife.

    Mad Dog may indeed be seen by the real world as, well, a mad dog; he was on the front line of the 2001 assault on Afghanistan; led the Marine assault on Baghdad during Shock and Awe in 2003; and masterminded the horrendous American destruction of Fallujah in late 2004. Widely hailed as a fine strategist, he retired as chief of CENTCOM in 2013.

    The Saint may have been a purveyor of chaos across the Cheney regime-coined "Greater Middle East" – something that came with inevitable collateral damage; his creeping Iranophobia. Yet the key to his appointment is that it will focus on rebuilding the US military.

    William Hartung, at the Center for International Policy, A Pentagon Rising: Is a Trump Presidency Good News for the Military-Industrial Complex? notes how "Pentagon spending is one of the worst possible ways of creating jobs. Much of the money goes to service contractors, arms industry executives, and defense consultants (also known as 'Beltway bandits')." Moreover, "such spending is the definition of an economic dead end."

    Criticizing Trumponomics as "Reaganomics on steroids" – and that includes vast military spending – Hartung stresses that if Donald Trump really wants to create jobs, "he should obviously pursue infrastructure investment rather than dumping vast sums into weapons the country doesn't actually need at prices it can't afford."

    To rebuild the appalling US infrastructure is one of the top Trump campaign promises.

    What is to be done?

    My aim with this column was to launch a debate on the possible Leninist role of White House strategist Steve Bannon. Trump, like all US presidents, is obviously no Leninist. But his chief strategist does cultivate the Leninist notion of a proletariat vanguard; call it the Angry Older White American Blue Collar Male contingent; call it haters of identity liberalism, which elevated selected minorities to the status of sacred victims; or call it simply "deplorables".

    It's this proletariat vanguard that Bannon aims to cultivate, so they lead/influence/shape policy for the foreseeable US political future, winning election after election for Republicans. They must imperatively benefit from Trump's spun-to-death fight against neoliberal "free" trade, although it's not clear exactly how he will privilege "in-sourcing" and not outsourcing – which is official US corporate policy. They certainly won't benefit from a massive rebuilding of the Pentagon.

    German political analyst Peter Spengler introduces a further spanner in the works, noting how Bannon, "like all scholars (or students for that matter) of Russia/Bolshevism has ignored what Kurt Riezler could have and (would want to) unearth to them in his time in exile in New York: first-hand experience and knowledge about the continuum of subterraneous and subversive 'diplomacy' between Germany and Russia" in the run-up towards the October Revolution.

    Bets are still off on what "subversive" diplomacy the Trump era will entail – apart from a 21st century remix of the Kissinger-orchestrated "Nixon in China" moment. That would take the form of a "Trump in Russia-China" moment – as in Washington starting to normalize the treatment of those nations the Pentagon ranks as its top two "existential threats", global projection and spheres of influence included.

    That contentious phone call to Trump "initiated" by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen certainly didn't contribute to any normalization. And no one should expect that the Brzezinski-conceptualized US global primacy, especially over Eurasia – as in "prevent the emergence of peer competitors" — will simply fade away.

    Pentagon reborn

    William Engdahl argues that the Brave New (Trump) World is all an elaborate deception. A quick look at the lucky few chosen for Trump's plutocrat cabinet does not exactly match the Better Angels of our Nature.

    A New York business source, familiar with the Masters of the Universe, who actively supported the Trump program and called his election at least two weeks before the fact, offers a blunt assessment:

    "Donald is an insider. Most of the advisors Engdahl refers to are wallpaper. There are three important things to consider. 1) The Supreme Court will have conservative judges. 2) There will be a rapprochement with Russia. The tilt may not be as warm to China, but we will work on that. 3) None of the Masters care about Lenin, or Thomas Cromwell, or ideologies. They care about power and money."

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, along with his family and running mate Mike Pence, addresses supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Mike Segar
    As for a possible Leninist White House, "if we want to quote Lenin, it is that truth is whatever advances the class struggle. Truth to the Masters is whatever advances their agenda. If they want the Federal Reserve to expand credit, then they look for a liberal if that works, or a conservative, or monetarist, or Keynesian, etc. One of them will support expansion of credit and those that don't will be shunted aside. They don't care about Milton Friedman, Keynes, Marx or Lenin. It is what works for them that counts. Hillary did not work so she is out. And Bannon will do what he is told like the rest of them. And if he gets in the way, he will be fired."

    So no matter what California screams and shouts, this is the stark way the Masters will be running Trumpland.

    Which brings us, once again, to the rebuilding of the US military. Another business/investment source, who also actively supported the Trump economic plan during the campaign, stresses how "the present power of the Russian military industrial complex is greater than the US in many senses. And all of it is in Russia whereas most of that of the US is farmed out to Asia."

    Thus, "it is fortunate that Trump has come in as President to wind down this mad house that they call Washington. There is a consensus above the President that action must be done to rebuild the United States military on an emergency basis." And that will be the Mad Dog's top brief.

    The source adds: "One easy way of repatriating all this industry at once is to set all defense contracts up with the stipulation that the entire plane, missile or tank must be made in the United States, thus requiring the massive repatriation of jobs and factories. That should be the first order of business at the White House under Trump as it does not require a tariff, or ending currency rigging."

    Hold on, Yalta, we're coming

    Meanwhile, there's got to be some careful management of what the disgruntled neocon/neoliberalcon galaxy called the Trump-Putin "bromance".

    Trump will most certainly re-normalize Russia and work alongside Russia to smash the Salafi-jihadi dementia in Syria; the problem is to what degree Russia and China will be able to influence Trumpland not to turn Iran into high collateral damage. Russia-China-Iran is the key alliance invested in Eurasia integration.

    "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski cannot help himself from expounding the usual narcissistic absurdities, as in suggesting the US helps Russia to "transit effectively" and become a "constructive, significant member of the global community" (it's rather Moscow that may end up doing exactly that to Trump's America).

    At the same time, it's no wonder even Brzezinski himself is now spinning, "America is needed to pull together some larger coalition that can deal with global problems. And in that larger coalition America, China and changing Russia could be preeminent."

    "Changing" Russia in this case is code for a Russia that can be seduced, tamed and driven away from China. The key context; the Russia-China strategic partnership essentially points towards Eurasia as a vast, integrated emporium – the blending of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) with Russia's Eurasia Economic Union (EEU).

    Brzezinski, reflecting and/or influencing neoliberalcon "values", would rather reenact Divide and Rule and try to split Russia from China – while at the same time suggesting that Trump can't afford to be left out of the massive (Eurasia) action; there's gotta be some sort of deal. Stay tuned for the terms of a possible upgrade; from Yalta in 1945 to… a Yalta remix in 2017?

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    Related:

    'Mad Dog' to Rule the Pentagon
    Trump Confirms Upcoming Appointment of Mattis as Defense Secretary
    Joker in Trump's Deck: Next Secretary of State to Shape US-Russian Relations
    Tags:
    Pentagon, CENTCOM, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, James Mattis, China, Russia, Syria, United States
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    • posttrumpism
      Talk is cheap, especially for a celebrity drama king lol

      Greed will triump over all their plans anyway...
    • chrrev
      oh the face of the mad dog... scary dude
    • karlof1
      Repatriating the outsourced jobs needs to happen across the manufacturing spectrum for the Outlaw US Empire's military to be 100% domestically sourced. Perhaps Trump will actually obey the Full Employment Act of 1946 that's been studiously ignored since the mid 1970s.
    • jasin reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
      karlof1, I hope customer service call centers come back to the US. Nothing against India, but most outsourced CS is really bad The sizing of clothing is almost different with each purchase. I'd like to buy some pants and shoes so I don't have to guess if I have to buy a size larger or smaller than my true size, depending on the manufacturer.
    • Dar...
      Trump lost the popular vote, the 'deep state' elected a man with multiple bankruptcy experience for a reason.

      Interest rates and inflation can only go one way now in the USA, ...up, ...way up.

      Expenditure is already beyond 100% of GDP. Any rise in interest rates at this point would push borrowing beyond investors' belief threshold in the USA's economic ability to repay. Congress couldn't elevate the 'debt ceiling' high enough or fast enough to cope. The Fed can't 'monetise' an escape route out of this one. The 'deep state' know this and have engineered a 'time out'.

      Sovereign default is the only way out, interest rates and inflation will soar but that's going to happen anyway. They want to deal with that, but without the burden of debt. Time has come to thin the herd.

      The biggest advantage from their perspective of defaulting now is that a USA sovereign default would decimate China and the EU. China especially.

      Wars will still happen but Africa will be the new Middle East, (Central and South America are being prep'd too).

      Russia will do what they always do, ...watch the show, protect Russian citizens from all threats, and rationally adjust to whatever economic environment emerges.
    • josepardinas
      Russia and China know better than to allow Washington to divide them. They will hang separately if they don't hang together.

      The major MIC re-investment proposed by Trump is truly worrisome for a couple of reasons:
      (1. It will preempt/defund much-needed infrastructure investment in the USA.
      (2. It will empower future conflict, and possibly even a global war.

      If the American economy cannot transition over the next few decades to a mostly civilian goods/services mode, it bodes very badly for the future of humanity.
    • Dar...in reply tojosepardinas(Show commentHide comment)
      josepardinas, Personally the more America spends on F35's, Zumwalt destroyers and littoral combat ships and DARPA's robot donkeys the safer I feel. Minute man's in need of a pacemaker now too.

      If they started spending money on military stuff that actually works I'd be nervous.

      You're absolutely right about it being hard to see where the civil infrastructure spend will come from though.
    • Vera Narishkin
      Measure the distance you can single-handedly and with your bare hands throw the Eiffel Tower. Divide that distance in half. That will be twice the distance you can trust either Trump or Clinton.
    • paleo
      Pepe is a really smart guy but if there was a point to this article I missed it. I thought I did hear some whining. Passive-aggressive, never delivers a real punch.
    • Luis Alcalá
      Class differences, the gap between rich and poor, in the USA are greater than in Morocco or Russia according to the Gini index and has worsened. In the United States, the proletariat that Bannon wants to defend is aware that every day is poorer and those who manage power increasingly rich, The media as allies of power sell them the illusion of the American dream, but on the day Day they know that neither they nor their children can reach it.
      To make matters worse, minority immigrants who are satisfied with almost nothing take more space from the American proletariat, it is not strange that they vote in mass to Trump.
      The best thing that Rusi can do is wait and see as he strengthens his army and increases his trade relations with the rest of the world except with Europe that is and will always be his enemy as he has demonstrated multiple times.
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