Wallowing in the mire of a headline grabbing “suspense” in case “such a nasty woman” becomes the next President of the United States (POTUS), the fear-and-loathing Las Vegas cage-match between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton once again yielded a few stark facts that should be of the highest concern especially to the Global South.
You have all been warned.
Final Countdown: US Presidential Debate Poses ‘Challenge for Both’ Candidates Mark Ralston Final Countdown: US Presidential Debate Poses ‘Challenge for Both’ Candidates Merely relying on Trump’s notorious vocabulary impediment is not enough. His “suspense” tirade – as in not endorsing the final result of the forthcoming presidential election until all votes have been counted — reveals more than it seems, and is hardly an apocalyptic threat to 240 years of American democracy.
To pull off voter fraud in the US is quite a feat, as the electoral college system is decentralized, run by the states. Thirty-one of these happen to be ruled by Republican governors, including key swing states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada. A great deal of the electronic voting machines is not internet-connected; they would have to be tampered with in advance.
So even if vote-buying and/or tampering may be an all-around difficult proposition, what might actually happen, in a Trumpian sense, is a modified 2000 remix, when the election was actually stolen by active voter suppression in Florida, coupled with a dodgy recount and a Supreme Court decision largely engineered by the Bush family consigliere James Baker.
The Clinton (Cash) Machine, on the other hand, is on a sacred, immaculate Mission from God; make sure that Russia won’t elect the next POTUS.
Blame it on the “evil” Kremlin
Predictably, Hillary doubled down on the Clinton (Cash) Machine’s neo-McCarthysm obsession in taking no prisoners to criminalize WikiLeaks and Julian “Why Can’t We Drone Him” Assange, while at the same blaming “evil” Russia for an “unprecedented” attempt to interfere in the US election (the Empire of Chaos, or course, never meddled with elections and governments all around the world). Hillary is backed by hordes of hysterical establishment “experts” blaring that the entire US political system is “under attack” by Russian hacking.
So the Mother of the Pivot to Asia refused to answer a question about her emails released by WikiLeaks, pivoting instead to Russia’s alleged hacking as the prime WikiLeaks source. In Clinton demonology terms, this may have been the key exchange of the Las Vegas cage match – setting the stage for the turbo-charging of Cold War 2.0:
Trump: Putin from everything I see has no respect for this person.
Clinton: Well, that’s because he would rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
Trump: No puppet. You’re the puppet.
Clinton: It is pretty clear you won’t admit that the Russians have engaged in cyber attacks against the United States of America. That you encouraged espionage against our people. That you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do. And that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race. So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.
Moderator Chris Wallace: Secretary Clinton-
Clinton: And I think it is time –
Trump: She has no idea whether it is Russia, China or anybody else.
Clinton: I am not quoting myself. Trump: You have no idea. Clinton: I am quoting 17, 17 — do you doubt?
Trump: Our country has no idea.
Clinton: Our military and civilian –
Trump: Yeah, I doubt it, I doubt it. Clinton: He would rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely –
Trump: She doesn’t like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way.
Moderator Chris Wallace: Mr. Trump-
Trump: Excuse me. Putin has outsmarted her in Syria, he’s outsmarted her every step of the way.
For the record, President Putin never described Donald Trump as “a genius”; he used the Russian word яркий, which means “colorful” or “flamboyant” and also characterized Trump as “talented, undoubtedly”. Putin has emphasized, “It’s not our business to decide his merits; that’s for US voters”. What’s clear is that the Kremlin is all in favor of a real détente – which is the exact opposite of the relentless Hillary/US intel/Pentagon demonization campaign.
Everyone is a terrorist
Hillary once again went no holds barred for a no-fly zone in Syria. Even lame duck President Barack Obama is against it, as well as Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; they know this would necessarily imply a face-off between the US Air Force and Russian Air Force.
Hillary maintains that, “a no-fly zone can save lives and hasten the end of the conflict.” That’s nonsense – as in one of her own 2013 speeches to Goldman Sachs, published by WikiLeaks, she admitted that a no-fly zone would “kill a lot of Syrians.” On top of it she could not formulate Washington’s reaction if a Russian fighter jet breached the no-fly zone. Closer to reality was her admission that it would give “leverage” on negotiations with Russia.
That’s the “Syrian strategy” in a nutshell of the “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Queen of Libya. Neocon/neoliberalcon “experts” supporting Hillary maintain the laughable notion that the absence of an Assad regime change actually encouraged the expansion of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
Trump said the only reason Baghdad was finally going for a push to free Mosul was because Hillary Clinton was running for president: “She wanted to look tough”. After all, “She gave us ISIS … she created a vacuum.”
In fact that’s way more complicated. Republicans blame the power vacuum in Iraq on the withdrawal of US occupation forces under Obama – which was actually agreed upon by the government in Baghdad and the Bush administration. Yet ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, a spin-off of Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq, is most of all a direct consequence of the Dick Cheney’s regime lethal Iraq adventure.
Imperial functionaries such as former NSA analyst Samantha Vinograd and former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morell subscribe to the warped notion that the rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh not only involves Osama bin Laden, Zarqawi and al-Baghdadi but also former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Bashar al-Assad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Clinton-aligned “experts” of this ilk would never admit that the expansion of Daesh was actually a willful decision taken by the Washington intelligence community, as revealed by former DIA head Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, currently advising Trump.
The imperturbable Dragon
Trump said, “I’m a big fan of NATO but they have to pay up”. Trump – correctly — has called NATO “obsolete”, and it’s a fact most NATO members don’t “pay up” as much as they should even as they whine about “Russian aggression”. Hillary for her part will boost NATO no holds barred as a bulwark against “Russian aggression”.
On “free” trade, Trump said, “Clinton flip-flopped on the Trans-Pacific Partnership”. Correct. Hillary was always a cheerleader of TPP – the NATO-on-trade arm of the pivot to Asia. As Secretary of State, she extolled TPP as setting “the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment.”
Yet as a candidate, she ditched TPP. But as POTUS, she will be reborn as a ferocious cheerleader.
Trump said, “the Clinton Foundation is a ‘criminal enterprise’”. It’s more like a fabulous slush fund/money-making racket, accepting dodgy funds from Gulf petromonarchies that do treat women in a pretty nasty way.
On criminal matters, Trump said, “General David Petraeus faces a worse deal than Clinton.” What happened to Surge Poster Boy and former CIA director Petraeus is that he pled guilty to handing over classified information to his biographer/lover, and during the investigation lied to the FBI (much as Hillary also may have). Petraeus faced a worse deal than Hillary in the sense that at least he got a – ultra-lenient – fine (a mere $100,000, plus two years’ probation) while Hillary is getting away scot free from her subterranean email server saga.
Does all of the above matter? Yes – in the sense it further reveals what kind of POTUS will be unleashed upon the planet. But what about the (silent) Big Red Dragon in the midst of this appalling circus? The final cage match in Vegas yielded no further demonization of China. Beijing anyway is ready — confident that no Pivoting Darth Vader in a White Pantsuit will be able to derail the Eurasian Century.
By Pepe Escobar
Source: Sputnik News