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Journalist Allan Nairn on Trump Administration’s Revolutionary Dismantling of U.S. Government


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. Our guest for the hour is the longtime investigative
journalist Allan Nairn. Allan, you were talking about a rightist revolution
that is taking place right now. While President Trump speaks from his vacation
home, his golf resort in Bedminster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is flying to Guam,
making a surprise trip there. He said this was a very good week for the
U.S. and the international community. As the tension with North Korea escalates,
there’s actually no U.S. ambassador to South Korea, there’s no secretary of Asian Pacific
affairs, there’s no secretary of East Asian affairs. Can you talk about the significance of this? ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Trump says—and he’s
said it repeatedly—that the world is exploiting the U.S., rather than the other way around. And maybe he believes that. If he believes that, then it makes sense to
dismantle the instruments, the institutions that connect the U.S. to the rest of the world,
the instruments of U.S. power and U.S. exploitation, like the State Department. And he is dismantling the State Department
to a significant extent. It’s remarkable. He’s looking to slash their budget by more
than a third. This comes from several places: one, that
view of Trump; two, the fact that he is leading, in government, a coalition of various extreme-rightist
factions—the Koch brothers types, the Chamber of Commerce types, the racists, the neofascists,
all sorts of different groups. One of them is a group that’s ideologically
descended from the old John Birch Society, which has always viewed the U.N. and the State
Department as inherently evil. And they have managed to, in a sense, get
control of State Department policy. And that push dovetails with the efforts of
the right-wing deficit hawks who want to slash the U.S. budget overall. Now, they face—the Republicans face a deep
problem in Congress, because, on the one hand, they want to slash spending, but, on the other
hand, they want to massively expand the Pentagon budget. The solution, up to now—started during the
Reagan years—has been to cut domestic discretionary spending and try to slash Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid, but that’s becoming much more difficult now because of the grassroots
activism, which is—which is fighting that. So, the State Department becomes a natural
target, and they’re gutting it. And this is one of the things that drives
the establishment crazy, because the State Department is an instrument of U.S. power,
and Trump is in the process of tearing it up. There’s actually—there’s a very relevant
quote from Edward Gibbon, the historian, in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire, and he’s talking about the empire in the second century. And he says, “They endeavored to convince
mankind that their motive was not the temptation of conquest but was actuated by the love of
order and justice.” You could say the exact same thing about the
U.S. today, what the U.S. today says to the world. But Trump comes along and says, “Oh, yeah,
it is about conquest. We want to take Iraq’s oil. We want to take Afghanistan’s minerals.” And, you know, that really damages U.S. power,
because it upsets people. They talk about the polls, which show a decline
in world opinion of the U.S. That’s actually world opinion getting more
realistic vis-à-vis the U.S. The basic Trump doctrine in international
affairs is more violence, less hypocrisy; less talk about democracy, human rights, more
straight-up violence. And the world is seeing this. And it makes—it has the long-term effect
of potentially making the U.S. less of a player. AMY GOODMAN: Specifically, what does it mean
not to have ambassadors in the world? And interestingly, the role of Rex Tillerson,
who sometimes looks like he’s the restraining force on President Trump, this former CEO
of the largest private oil corporation in the world, ExxonMobil, though he, too—what
are his intentions for the State Department? ALLAN NAIRN: Well, it’s kind of remarkable,
because he has embraced the White House project of dismantling his own agency, the State Department. Now, there are others, like Pruitt at EPA,
who 14 times had filed suit against the EPA and has always been saying publicly he wants
to kill it. That’s his mission in life. And now Trump gave him the opportunity to
go inside and kill it. Tillerson doesn’t come from that kind of
background. Tillerson, in a sense, had his own private
government, when he was running ExxonMobil. But now he’s embraced the idea of undermining
his own agency. But at the same time, he seems to recognize
the aspects of Trump’s rhetoric that make it harder for the U.S. to hold its power internationally. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, is there anything that
says—there’s a good deal of discussion saying, you know, what many people thought
were laws were actually just norms that Trump is violating. That there should be embassies, is there anything
to say, in every country? I mean, maybe the next step would be you don’t
have ambassadors in different places. You know, you just have U.S. corporations
acting as U.S. ambassadors in different places. They set their own rules.

16 Comments

  1. John Mastroligulano
    John Mastroligulano August 9, 2017

    Did you not hear the part about oath to defend the CONSTITUTION which delegates power? The Constitution does not allow the President to start a war based on his personal feelings. When you are given an illegal=Unconstitutional order it is your obligation to refuse. Just following orders never has been & never will be an excuse.

  2. Michael DuPree
    Michael DuPree August 9, 2017

    Just noticed Duturte doesn't know what to do with his hands

  3. THE Smith.
    THE Smith. August 9, 2017

    Trump is doing the work of what the REAL America wants. Your little experiment in ridiculousness is coming to an end.

  4. Darrin InMesa
    Darrin InMesa August 9, 2017

    N Korea is threatening everyone including China in recent months and you're turning this into a right/left thing.

    Democracy now…..You disgust me.

  5. Mcfishy First
    Mcfishy First August 9, 2017

    Trump is hitler in overdrive

  6. Keith Kelly
    Keith Kelly August 9, 2017

    Dismantling U.S. government? No. Streamlining U.S. government? Absolutely. And long overdue.

  7. Paul Jones
    Paul Jones August 9, 2017

    Nairn's comments have decent merit, but his broad view of the world powers is just a bit naive. Trump's violence provoking pales by comparison with Obama, Bush, and CLinton. The State Department, the EPA, etc. are NOT pro America. Never mind the normalization of these agencies. And AMy Goodman is NOT a non-partisan reporting source. Never has been.

  8. poosta7
    poosta7 August 9, 2017

    they say "know the truth and the truth shall make you free" …. My experience is that as I i know the truth the truth shall make me very sad and depressed.."

  9. Michael P
    Michael P August 10, 2017

    The Global Corporations are stealing from the United States, not other countries. Maybe the foreign executives in these Global Corps and foreign employees and bankers but only through corporations.

  10. ran dori
    ran dori August 10, 2017

    05:22 tig 'ol biddies

  11. Shawn Smith
    Shawn Smith August 10, 2017

    FAKE NEWS😁

  12. truthisafuckinglie
    truthisafuckinglie August 10, 2017

    Trump is showing the world the real face of USA imperialism. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. No One
    No One August 10, 2017

    So Trump dismantles the deep state and these idiots decry it.

  14. David Ley
    David Ley August 10, 2017

    Thank you for your work Democracy Now. I appreciate your videos immensely.

  15. Stephen Moss
    Stephen Moss August 29, 2017

    Nothing new here ! Just no more pretending !

  16. X X
    X X September 27, 2017

    THIS MAN IS BRILLIANT

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