AN IMAGINARY DEBATE
Edited and chaired by Lasha Darkmoon
This is a “debate” with a difference. It consists of a compilation of authentic quotations by well-known politicians, celebrities, and internet pundits, all arranged in a dramatic collage by Lasha Darkmoon. If the overall impression is Kafkaesque and surrealistic, that is intended. Every quote can be verified on the internet for its word-for-word accuracy.
Why bother having nuclear weapons
if you are afraid to use them?
— Donald Trump
LASHA DARKMOON : Ladies and gentlemen, you are all veteran observers of the political scene in Washington. I’d therefore like to ask you a few questions and get a debate going on Donald Trump. My first question: do you have anything positive to say about Trump?
Rachel Blevins, you are a Texas-based journalist. How about you? Do you have anything nice to say about our President?
RACHEL BLEVINS : Trump has killed more civilians with illegal drone strikes in nine months than Obama did in eight years.
LASHA DARKMOON : Can you expand on that?
RACHEL BLEVINS : The Trump Administration is breaking records by accumulating a horrific number of civilian deaths. President Trump has been in office for just nine months, and he has already surpassed Obama’s murderous record with estimated numbers as high as 4,500 civilian deaths. Trump made headlines in December 2015, when he declared that if elected, he would not only kill members of ISIS—he would also “take out their families.” He is following through on that promise.
LD : Trump is killing women and children in cold blood?
RACHEL BLEVINS : Researchers have documented the rise of “frequent killing of entire families in likely coalition airstrikes” under the Trump Administration. This trend led to “the deaths of at least 57 women and 52 children in Iraq and Syria” in May [alone].
LD : Trump claims he wants to destroy ISIS. He would deny any indiscriminate slaughter of civilians by US drones.
RACHEL BLEVINS : Trump promised to “bomb the hell out of ISIS”. [Instead], the alarmingly high civilian death toll has continued to build up over the months. For example, from May 23 to June 23 of this year, at least 472 civilians were killed by US airstrikes. That is significantly more than the 459 civilians who have been killed by terrorist attacks in Europe—in the last 12 years.
While the argument can be made that Trump is doing the same thing Hillary Clinton would have done if she was elected, the question has to be asked as to how anyone can justify killing innocent civilians in the first place.
LD : Trump’s supporters obviously have no moral qualms about the slaughter of 472 Third World civilians in a single month. Either they couldn’t care less, or they are wilfully blind, stupid, and pig-ignorant.
RACHEL BLEVINS : Obama surpassed Bush’s record, and now Trump has surpassed Obama’s record—but the only thing that has actually been “accomplished” is that thousands of innocent civilians have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands of civilians have lost their homes and their communities, and the civilians who do survive will grow up hating America.
LD : Thank you, Rachel. So your opinion of Donald Trump is not exactly positive. Too bad you couldn’t find anything nice to say about our President.
DONALD TRUMP : It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack.
LD (not noticing the bizarre interruption) : How about you, Robert Parry? Do you have anything nice to say about the President?
ROBERT PARRY : In the final presidential debate of 2016, Hillary Clinton famously called Donald Trump the “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But what’s increasingly clear is that Trump has a more typical puppet master for a US politician–Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
LD : Trump is in bed with the Israelis?
ROBERT PARRY : Trump has major pro-Netanyahu donors to his political war chest and his legal defense fund who are strong advocates for war with Iran, including casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson who has plowed $35 million into the pro-Trump Super PAC Future 45 and has publicly called for dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran as a negotiating tactic. So, Netanyahu had a number of potential strings to pull.
LD : Trump is basically a man of peace, one of my friends keeps telling me. He a really nice guy in mortal combat with the Jews. He wants peace and prosperity for all.
ROBERT PARRY (laughs derisively) : On Sept. 19, Trump turned his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly into a war-like rant, personally insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man,” threatening to “totally destroy” his nation of 25 million people, and parroting Netanyahu’s calls for another regime change project aimed at Iran.
Most diplomats in the audience sat in stunned silence as Trump threatened aggressive war from the podium of an organization created to prevent the scourge of war. The one notable exception was Netanyahu who enthusiastically applauded his success in jerking Trump into the neocon camp. Trump showed that his obeisance to Netanyahu and the neocons outweighed loyalty to either his Secretary of State or the intermediaries who had ventured into dicey situations on Trump’s behalf.
In Twitter messages, Trump belittled the idea of a dialogue with North Korea, tweeting: “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”
“Save your energy Rex,” Trump added, before slipping in another thinly veiled threat of a military strike: “we’ll do what has to be done!”
FINIAN CUNNINGHAM (interrupting Parry) : Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is said to have scoffed at Trump’s antics and called him a “moron”.
ANDREW ANGLIN (fiercely) : We support Trump because he is the savior of the White race, sent by God to free us from the shackles of the Jew occupation and establish a 1000 Reich!
ROBERT PARRY (unperturbed) : While on the surface, Trump’s repudiation of Tillerson might have been viewed as another “zigzag,” it is now clear that Trump’s “zigzag” explanation was just another lie. Rather than zigzagging, he is instead following a straight line marked out by Netanyahu.
LD : How do you see the situation in Syria?
ROBERT PARRY : In Syria, Netanyahu seems to have won more concessions from Trump. Trump appears to be continuing US military intervention in Syria—just as Netanyahu desires.
LD : So Trump, you are saying, is Netanyahu’s lapdog?
ROBERT PARRY : Trump further showed that he is following Netanyahu’s marching orders with the extremist speech about Iran on Friday, essentially repeating all the Israeli propaganda lines against Iran and burning whatever bridges remained toward a meaningful diplomatic approach.
Trump’s Iran speech was so ludicrous it almost defies serious analysis. It ranks with the reckless rhetoric of President George W. Bush when he pronounced an “axis of evil,” with the incongruous linking of Iraq and Iran (two bitter enemies) and North Korea accompanied by Bush’s bogus claims about Iraq’s WMD and Iraq’s alleged collaboration with Al Qaeda.
As dishonest as Trump’s Iran speech was, the US mainstream media won’t criticize it as harshly as it deserves because virtually all the important journalists and talking heads have swallowed Israel’s anti-Iran propaganda whole.
LD : So it’s helterskelter down the slippery slope to Armageddon, is it?
ROBERT PARRY : Trump is now on the path to wars with both North Korea and Iran, neither of which Russian President Putin favors. Putin, who played a key role in helping President Obama achieve the Iran-nuclear agreement, now sides with the Europeans in opposition to Trump’s decertification [of the peace agreement with Iran].
Putin also favors a prompt end to the Syrian conflict with the defeat of Al Qaeda and its allies, and he wants peaceful negotiations with North Korea over its desire for security against threatened American aggression. Trump is on the opposite side of all these Putin priorities.
LD : If what you say is correct, Putin supporters who also support Trump must be stark raving bonkers. How can anyone support Trump and Putin at the same time if Trump is doing everything in his power to antagonize Putin and threaten Russia?
ROBERT PARRY : Trump is behaving in ways that are directly contrary to Putin’s desires and interests! Trump is moving in opposite directions, lining up with Netanyahu and the neocons, whom some European allies refer to as “America’s Israeli agents.” Although dressing up his capitulation to Netanyahu in tough-guy phrasing, Trump is doing what most US politicians do – they grovel before Bibi Netanyahu.
LD : It therefore follows that Trump’s supporters, without knowing it, are indirectly giving aid to Netanyahu. However well-intentioned these Trump loyalists are, they are making a big mistake. They are acting as Useful Idiots for Israel and the Zionist agenda.
ROBERT PARRY : If you have any doubts, watch how often both Republicans and Democrats jump to their feet when Netanyahu addresses a joint session of Congress. Those moments of American humiliation—as almost all 535 members of Congress act like puppets on invisible strings—represent the actual subservience of the US government to a foreign power. And that power is not Russia. President Trump is just the latest American politician to have his strings yanked by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
ERIC MARGOLIS : Trump is surrounded by a coterie of ardently pro-Israel advisors and cronies aligned to that nation’s far right wing. So far to the right, in fact, that their Israeli opponents often call them ‘fascists.’ Trump, with this Mussolini complex, fits right into this mind-set. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have more influence on Capitol Hill than President Trump.
WHO RULES AMERICA?
“Trump is doing what most US politicians do—
they grovel before Bibi Netanyahu.”
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU : I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily. Move it in the right direction.
BILL CLINTON : Who the fuck does he think he is? Who’s the fucking superpower here?
— § —
LD : Paul Craig Roberts, as a highly respected and seasoned insider of Washington and its evil ways, would you like to comment on the present situation?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: I have warned of the consequences of Washington threatening Russia’s security by breaking agreement after agreement, by placing missile bases on Russia’s borders, by orchestrating anti-Russian coups in former Soviet provinces, and by a continuing volley of false accusations against Russia. There is no act more reckless and irresponsible than to make one nuclear power fear nuclear attack from another.
Last March, General Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy commander of the Russian military’s Operation Command expressed concern that Washington could be preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia.
Had any such statement from the Russian high command been issued anytime during the 20th century Cold War era, the President of the United States would have immediately contacted the Soviet leader and given every assurance that no such plan or intentions toward Russia existed. As far as I can tell, the Trump White House let this ominous announcement pass unremarked. If this is the case, it must have provided confirmation to the Russians’ conclusion.
Both the US and its vassal states, continue to ignore very clear Russian warnings. Perhaps the most clear of all was Putin’s public statement that “Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory.” If Washington’s EU vassals did not hear this clear warning that they are courting their nuclear destruction—especially the Poles and Romanians who have mindlessly hosted US missile bases—they are as deaf as they are stupid.
One Russian official told the idiot British government to its face that if the British threat to first use nuclear weapons is directed at Russia, if such an attempt is made, Great Britain will disappear from the face of the earth.
LD : This is where I’m based right now. In England’s green and pleasant land. In perfidious Albion. You think I could be wiped out at any moment?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : There is no doubt that that would be the case… Russia has not even threatened Ukraine, which Russia could wipe out in a couple of minutes.
LD : America is an exceptional nation, I’m told. It’s above international law. It can do whatever it wants, regardless of what other people think of it.
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : America is so exceptional that it can torture people in total violation of both US law and international law. The government in Washington can, on suspicion alone without presentation to a court of evidence and conviction, confine US citizens indefinitely, torturing them the entire time, and can assassinate them at will without due process of law. This is the definition of a total police state tyranny. Yet Washington represents America as a “great democracy,” whose endless wars against humanity are “bringing democracy to the world.”
America is so exceptional that it can bomb other countries indiscriminately without officially being at war with those countries.
Today the military/security complex is much more than a mere threat to American democracy. It has already taken over the US government and the Trump administration, which is run by generals, and it now threatens all life on earth.
The military/security complex has an annual budget of one thousand billion dollars. This sum is larger than the Gross Domestic Products of all but a handful of countries on earth. Such an immense budget conveying such power desperately needs a dangerous enemy for its justification. Russia has been assigned this role.
LD : Robert Parry has just told us that Trump is Netanyahu’s puppet. Do you agree?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : The Israel Lobby is extremely powerful. If the Israel Lobby puts legislation or a resolution before Congress, it usually passes almost unanimously, as anyone who votes against it is likely to be eliminated in the next election.
The Israel Lobby is closely linked to the Neoconservatives, the principal figures of which are Zionist Jews tightly allied with Israel. Some are joint US/Israeli citizens. The Israeli influence in Washington is so strong that the Vice Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank is the former chairman of the Israeli Central Bank. Israel is so powerful in Washington that it even runs US economic policy.
LD : And what Israel wants, Israel gets, right? What does Israel want?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : The Zionists in Israel want to expand. Their doctrine is “from the Nile to the Euphrates.” That is the Zionist claim of the land that God gave to the Chosen People.
In pursuit of this goal, Israel twice sent the Israeli Army into southern Lebanon to occupy that part of the country in order to seize the Litani River, water resources that Israel desires.
It is Israel, not the US government per se, that is driving the US to war with Iran. Israel, which almost always gets its way in Washington, is encountering difficulties. Washington’s EU vassals are opposed to renewing conflict with Iran. Europe is overwhelmed with problems, many of which stem from Washington’s wars, and doesn’t need the Iranian one again.
LD : Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, especially about nuclear weapons and why have them unless you can use them, are clearly unhelpful. How have Russia and China responded to these threats?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : Russia and China expect the next war to be nuclear.
LD : Trump could light the match that sets the world on fire?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS : If the dumbshits in Washington repeat this folly, the lights on Earth will be turned off.
VLADIMIR PUTIN (ominously) : Russia will never fight a war again on its own territory!
— § —
LD : Finian Cunningham, in what other ways is Trump trying to antagonize Russia, apart from veiled threats of a first-strike nuclear attack?
FINIAN CUNNINGHAM : Trump’s latest outburst is not a one-off anomaly. In recent weeks, the US government has moved to severely restrict the freedom of Russia-based news media operating in the country. The crimping of Russian news media is part of a wider campaign to suppress all alternative media outlets, including US-based websites, which are being labelled as agents of “foreign interests” because of merely posting articles sourced from RT and Sputnik.
LD : The Russian media are obviously putting “dangerous” ideas into people’s heads!
FINIAN CUNNINGHAM : There is absolutely no credible evidence that Russian news media or alternative US-based sites are systematically engaged in an “influence campaign” to destabilize American democracy. Just because the US government does not like this kind of unflattering coverage does not legitimize its opprobrium of “fake news”. The latter charge is brazenly being used as a pretext to censor discomfiting information.
There is simply no evidence that Russian news media were or are engaged in anything nefarious to destabilize US democracy. Russian media have and do give critical news coverage. If that “destabilizes” Washington’s illicit activities in overseas’ wars then that’s what responsible journalism should be doing. To curb this journalism because it offends geopolitical interests is, frankly, censorship and the actions of a tyrant.
Much of this hostility towards alternative media is motivated by the fact that these alternative media have admirably exposed the hypocrisy and criminality of US authorities. American democratic rights are indeed on thin ice. But that was the case long before the elephantine Trump arrived on the scene. His clumsy lurching is merely serving to illustrate how treacherously thin the ice has become upon which US democracy now stands.
DONALD TRUMP (advising Obama) : What I am saying is, stay out of Syria! Do not attack Syria! There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another day!
JEB BUSH : Whatever his views are this morning, they might change this afternoon! All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into—it’s kind of disturbing. He doesn’t believe in things, this is all a game.
TIM O’BRIEN (Trump’s biographer, in ‘Vanity Fair’) : He believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades. He’ll tell the same stories time and time again, regardless or not of the facts right in front of his face.
EDWARD SNOWDEN : It’s very difficult to respond in a serious way to any statement that’s made by Donald Trump.
ERIC MARGOLIS : Trump evaded the draft during the Vietnam War due to a trivial foot problem!
J.K. ROWLING : Voldemort was nowhere near as bad!
BILL CLINTON (putting in a good word for Trump) : Donald Trump has been uncommonly nice to Hillary and me. I love playing golf with him!
— § —
DONALD TRUMP (to a dead American soldier’s 25-year-old widow, offering his condolences) : He knew what he signed up for.
(The widow breaks down, sobbing.)
DEMOCRAT CONGRESSWOMAN FREDERICA WILSON (who overheard the callous comment) : He should not have said that! It was almost like saying, “You signed up to do this. If you didn’t want to die, you shouldn’t have signed up.”
DONALD TRUMP : Democrat congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!
CONGRESSWOMAN WILSON : Yes, he said it! It’s so insensitive.
ALYSSA MASTROMONACO : (former deputy chief of staff for Obama) : He’s a deranged animal!
(The quotes above all come from the Daily Mail)
DONALD TRUMP : All I want to do is make America great again!