Donald Trump, militarism and Hamilton


This video from the USA says about itself:

Baltimore’s Latino Youth Speak Out After Donald Trump’s Victory

21 November 2016

Casa de Maryland organizer Lydia Walther-Rodriguez says Obama’s record deportations have already prepared the Latino community for Trump.

By Tom Eley in the USA:

Trump lines up militarists for cabinet posts

21 November 2016

US President-elect Donald Trump continued over the weekend to assemble the makings of the most right-wing and militarist administration in U.S. history, while taking steps to ensure that he retains personal control over his multi-billion-dollar business empire.

On Sunday, Trump met with retired Marine General James N. Mattis, responsible for U.S. war crimes in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Mattis is being touted as Trump’s likely defense secretary.

The discussion with Mattis at Trump Tower in Manhattan followed the previous day’s meeting with the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, also an advocate of increased U.S. military aggression, who is being considered for secretary of state.

The discussions with Mattis and Romney follow Friday’s selection of a troika of far-right figures for key posts: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, retired General Michael Flynn for national security adviser, and Representative Mike Pompeo for CIA director. Those appointments came after the selection of the fascist Stephen Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, as top White House strategist.

In forming his unprecedentedly right-wing cabinet, Trump faces no opposition from the Democratic Party. Leading Democrats have repeatedly stressed their intention to seek “common ground” with Trump around economic nationalist and protectionist policies.

Mattis and Romney have both positioned themselves as proponents of war with Iran, which they label the most dangerous threat to U.S. interests in the Middle East. Both have criticized the Obama administration, which has been at war for its entire eight years in office against a total of six different countries, for supposed reticence in using military force.

Mattis has gone so far as to dismiss ISIS, ostensibly the target of expanded U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria, as a diversion from the Iranian threat.

“I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief. Iran is not an enemy of ISIS,” he told a Center for Strategic and International Studies meeting in Washington last spring. “They have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that ISIS creates.” In the same address he proposed that the U.S. make preparations for war with Iran.

Iran extends over an area equivalent in size to Alaska. It has a population equal to that of California, Texas and New York combined. War with Iran would extend the U.S. combat theater across the entire southeastern quadrant of Eurasia—from Syria in the west to Pakistan in the east. It would dwarf and subsume the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which border Iran, and would likely necessitate the implementation of the draft to expand the ranks of the U.S. military.

Mattis is already a veteran of several American wars of aggression. As a brigadier general, he led a Marine battalion in the invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991, one of history’s most lopsided imperialist slaughters. In brief fighting, as many as 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed, mostly in their bunkers or in retreat, as compared to 147 “coalition” casualties. Mattis then commanded forces in the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, in 2001-2002, and the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq, in 2003.

In subsequent Iraqi “peacekeeping” operations from 2003 onwards, Mattis oversaw some of American imperialism’s most heinous crimes. In 2004, he shared command of a U.S. attack against the city of Fallujah, which was held up for exemplary punishment after the killing of four private Blackwater defense contractors by angry civilians. The city, once regarded as among the most beautiful in the Middle East, was left in ruins after a massive artillery bombardment, which included the use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium weapons, and indiscriminate door-to-door raids. Untold thousands were killed.

On May 19, 2004, Marines under Mattis’ command massacred a wedding party in the village of Mukaradeeb on the Iraq-Syria border. At least 42 civilians were killed, including women and children who were mowed down by US machine guns. In spite of video evidence clearly showing the wedding festivities, Mattis insisted, “I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my men.”

On the contrary, Mattis revels in killing. In early 2005, months after the massacres of defenseless civilians in Fallujah and Mukaradeeb, he was caught on video telling a San Diego audience that he enjoyed the slaughter. “It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said. “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling… it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Such bloodlust won Mattis promotion first under George W. Bush and then under Obama, who, in 2010, appointed him commander of United States Central Command, replacing Gen. David Petraeus. Mattis retired from the command in 2013, reportedly over differences with the Obama administration on Iran.

The fact that it is only three years since his retirement from the military would normally, under existing law, preclude Mattis from assuming the civilian post of defense secretary. However, it is expected that the federal statute in question will be waived by Congress without opposition from the Democrats.

Like Mattis, Romney advocates moving toward a war footing against Iran. In 2012, he insisted that, if elected president, he could declare war on Iran without congressional approval. In a 2015 column in the Wall Street Journal, Romney condemned the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, which lifted some punitive sanctions in exchange for Teheran’s dismantling of enriched uranium capabilities. Trump similarly attacked the nuclear deal with Iran during his campaign.

Romney, however, has been far more hawkish toward Russia than Trump. While the Clinton campaign attacked Trump during the election campaign, in McCarthyite fashion, over alleged ties to Russia, depicting Trump as a stooge of the Kremlin, Romney has consistently attacked the Obama administration for being insufficiently aggressive against Russia, which he identified in 2012 as “without question our number one geopolitical foe.”

The reconciliation of Romney with Trump, much like Obama’s embrace of his successor, reveals once again the unprincipled and often stage-managed character of American bourgeois politics. Regardless the bitterness of election campaign conflicts, both big business parties and the various factions within them are all, as Obama said following Trump’s election, on the “same team,” i.e., that of American imperialism. In the end, their differences are tactical while their unity against the working class is fundamental.

During the campaign, Romney bitterly opposed Trump’s nomination, publicly calling him a “con man” and “faker.” Trump, in turn, called Romney a “loser.” But in their meeting at Trump’s New Jersey golf course on Sunday they embraced warmly. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who heads Trump’s transition, later said that Romney was “under active consideration” for secretary of state.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that, in yet another break with historical precedent, the current head of the National Security Agency (NSA), Admiral Michael S. Rogers, without informing his superiors, met with Trump in New York on Thursday regarding the position of director of national intelligence, a post currently held by James R. Clapper, who announced his retirement last week. In the same article, the Post revealed that last month Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter each sent letters to Obama requesting that he fire Rogers, an action that has not yet been taken. The revelation brought forth public statements of support for Rogers from prominent Republicans.

The NSA is the federal agency which, as Edward Snowden revealed in 2013, systematically and illegally spies on the communications of the American people.

Also on Saturday, Trump met with two potential education secretaries: Michelle Rhee, a Democrat who as chancellor of the Washington DC public schools from 2007 until 2010 sought the total destruction of teacher tenure, and Betty DeVos, whose organization, American Federation of Children, seeks to divert money from public schools to charter schools, private schools and religious institutions. The meetings make clear that Trump intends to carry forward the attack on public education … .

Trump has shown no intention of separating the government he will head from his sprawling real estate and hospitality concerns. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has emerged as his closest advisor.

Kushner himself heads up a multi-billion-dollar family real estate empire built by his father, Charles Kushner. The New York Times has reported that Trump may seek to circumvent a federal anti-nepotism law, in place since 1967, and give his son-in-law an advisory position in his administration. Kushner, who had no previous government or political experience, was present on Thursday when Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York.

Last week, Trump’s lawyer said the president-elect would place his businesses in the hands of his children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, the wife of Jared Kushner. However, he subsequently named all three, as well as Kushner, members of his White House transition team.

These transparent conflicts of interest have been ignored by prominent Democrats, including New York Senator Schumer, who will assume the post of Senate minority leader vacated by the retiring Harry Reid of Nevada.

Schumer, who has emerged as the leading figure in the Democratic Party, made the rounds of the Sunday morning interview programs. Appearing on the ABC News program “This Week,” he said congressional Democrats would collaborate with Trump to promote “a very strong and bold economic platform and message” including “dramatic change in the trade laws”—in other words, trade war.

“Now, many of these issues, actually, Donald Trump supported in the campaign,” Schumer told host Martha Raddatz. “We’re going to challenge him to work with us on those issues and not work—go against them and break his promise to the blue collar people, because the Republican leadership or the Republican establishment doesn’t like them.”

The attempt of both Trump and the Democrats to identify their turn to economic nationalism with the interests of American workers is a fraud. What is involved is a shift in the orientation of the American ruling class, effected through the installation of the most right-wing, militaristic and authoritarian government in U.S. history, to unbridled nationalism. This must of necessity go hand in hand with a massive increase in military spending, the cost of which will be borne by the working class in the form of increased austerity and violent repression.

Trump’s authoritarian government of nationalism and war: here.

Trump’s campaign of militarization: here.

By an overwhelming 375-34 vote, the US House of Representatives last Friday passed a $619 billion Pentagon budget that ensures the growth of war and militarism under an incoming Trump administration, while also barring the shutdown of the American prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: here.

This video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

19 November 2016

‘Hamilton’ actor Brandon Victor Dixon delivered a message to US Vice President-elect Mike Pence calling on him to “uphold American values.”

By David Walsh from the USA:

A chilling attack on free speech

Trump attempts to bully cast of Hamilton over criticism of anti-democratic policies

21 November 2016

An incident occurred last week that is a small taste of things to come.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended Friday night’s performance of the Broadway show Hamilton: An American Musical. His presence in the theater was met with a mixture of cheers and (mostly) boos. Following the show, Brandon Victor Dixon, one of the show’s lead actors, addressed Pence on behalf of the cast and the musical’s creators.

Dixon asked Pence, in the process of leaving his seat at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street in Manhattan, to remain and listen to his remarks. The actor then explained that the cast had “a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out.”

Dixon continued, “Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical, we really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us—our planet, our children, our parents—or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

“Again, we truly thank you for sharing this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men [and] women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.”

The statement was written by Hamilton’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, in collaboration with the show’s director, Thomas Kail, and lead producer Jeffrey Seller, with input from cast members. Hamilton, which has been hugely successful, is a musical based on Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton (1755/57–1804), a significant figure in the American Revolution and the early days of the United States.

In 2016, the show received a record-setting 16 Tony nominations and took home 11. It was also the recipient of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

President-elect Donald Trump responded to Dixon’s polite and conciliatory–one might say, overly polite and conciliatory–remarks aimed at the incoming vice president (when audience members booed at the mention of Pence’s name, Dixon told them, “There’s nothing to boo here, ladies and gentlemen. There’s nothing to boo here. We’re all here sharing a story of love”), with a series of thuggish Tweets Saturday and Sunday.

Trump first wrote, “Our wonderful future VP Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!”

How would Trump propose to prevent such comments? It is no idle threat when an individual who will soon have the FBI and the intelligence-military apparatus at his disposal insists that “This should not happen!” Dixon replied, in a Tweet of his own, that “conversation is not harassment, sir.”

Trump’s next message read: “The theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” And finally: “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”

The demand that critics should “apologize” for criticizing a public official is an expression of authoritarianism. Along the same lines, Trump’s first response to protests after the November 8 election blamed the demonstrations on “professional protesters, incited by the media.” One of those being considered for the post of director of Homeland Security in a Trump administration, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, wrote a series of Tweets last week calling for a “state of emergency” to be declared and for the ongoing anti-Trump protests to be “quelled” by the military.

Pence struck a more dignified pose than Trump in response to the Hamilton incident. He told Chris Wallace of Fox News, “I really enjoyed watching Hamilton. It was a real joy to be there. I heard a few boos. I wasn’t offended by what was said.”

This is mere posturing. The vice president-elect is a hardened right-winger. As a talk show host, congressman and governor of Indiana, Pence advanced views typical of the Christian fundamentalist and Tea Party right. He strongly supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” and each measure aimed against Iran and Syria. He voted in favor of every attack on democratic rights and the expansion of NSA and CIA surveillance powers.

Pence has been hostile to social spending and public education and is a furious opponent of abortion and gay rights. The Indiana congressman gloated in 2005 that Hurricane Katrina had cleared the way for “free market” solutions in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast generally.

In 2015, as governor, Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permitted individuals and companies to discriminate based on their “religious beliefs.” Advance America, an ultra-right Christian outfit, explained on its web site that the law means “Christian bakers, florists and photographers should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage!”

Mike Pence Supporter Angry Over ‘Hamilton’ Protest Charged In Racist Attack On Asian Diner Patrons. He slurred two Chinese-American women and pepper-sprayed a man who defended them, witnesses said: here.

Introducing Trump’s 2016 Alt-Right All-Star Hate Team. It’s like the World Series of racism and crazies, who just might end up making our lives a living hell: here.

The U.S. Election: It’s over at last, or is it? By Immanuel Wallerstein: here.

13 thoughts on “Donald Trump, militarism and Hamilton

  1. In just two months’ time, when President Trump takes office, 25 million people will be at risk of losing their health insurance. That’s because the Trump train is coming to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

    Earlier this month, President-elect Trump told the Wall Street Journal “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.” Then, his campaign manager bragged that Trump may hold an unprecedented special session of Congress on Inauguration Day itself, just to repeal Obamacare.1

    With Trump in office, Republican extremists finally have the pen they need to destroy the Affordable Care Act. But moderate Republicans know this will cause an outrage among the vast majority of Americans. Not only do a majority of Americans support important provisions of the Affordable Care Act–like making high-cost drugs affordable–but Trump lost the popular vote by an embarrassing margin. Hardly a mandate to take away health insurance.2 If we speak up right now and force Congress to reckon with Trump’s terrible plan, we can save health care for tens of millions. Can you sign the emergency petition?

    Tell Congress & President-elect Trump: “Hands off our health care!”
    Sign the petition

    Among the mandatory covered provisions women count on are:

    All FDA-approved contraceptive methods without a co-pay, including emergency contraception

    Preventive screening for cervical and breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and osteoporosis

    Breastfeeding counseling and supplies without a co-pay, along with important maternity tests like ultrasounds, gestational diabetes, STI screening, and Rh incompatibility screening

    Domestic violence counseling

    Stipulation that women can’t be charged more than men just because of their gender.3

    And much, much more. Conservatives are already negotiating with insurance companies, who don’t want to pay for many of these provisions. This will all be negotiated quickly in a backroom deal, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump unless we butt our way in and demand Congress hear us. That’s why your signature, and story, are so important.

    Tell Congress & President-elect Trump: “Hands off our health care!”

    Thanks for taking action,

    –Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Megan, Libby, Emma, PaKou, and Pilar, the UltraViolet team

    Sources:

    1. Conway: Trump May Hold Special Session To Repeal O’care On Inauguration Day, Talking Points Memo, November 14, 2016

    2. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2016, Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed November 14, 2016

    3. Preventive care benefits for women, HealthCare.gov, accessed November 14, 2016

    Like

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  7. Saturday 3rd December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    LITHUANIAN President Dalia Grybauskaite urged US president-elect Donald Trump to keep rattling the sabre at Moscow yesterday as she oversaw war games on the Belorussian border.

    Ms Grybauskaite said that as “the guarantor of peace after the second world war in Europe,” the US shares responsibility for the continent’s safety.

    “We expect that this mission and this understanding will stay,” she said.

    Ms Grybauskaite made the comments while overseeing “Iron Sword” manoeuvres on the borders of peaceful Russian ally Belarus, involving 4,000 troops from 11 Nato members, including 250 from the US.

    They involved urban combat and “non-kinetic” psychological operations to persuade civilians to leave a conflict area or surrender.

    The exercises and ongoing force buildups in the Baltic states and Poland are meant as a show of force to Moscow, which has responded by strengthening its forces in the western regions and deploying ballistic missiles to its Kaliningrad enclave.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c9bc-Lithuania-Trump-urged-to-keep-rattling-the-sabre#.WELW-n2bIdU

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