Prof. Tony Hall and I discuss “Inauguration of the Trump Era”
By Dr. Kevin Barrett [Original column here]
Paul Craig Roberts, ex-pillar of the Establishment turned furious dissident, thinks newly inaugurated President Trump, like JFK, poses an “actionable threat” to the powers-that-be: “If (Trump) is assassinated, we need to take up our weapons, burn Langley to the ground and kill every one of them.”
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post agrees that “Trump’s presidency is doomed.” But not by CIA assassination; he thinks Trump will follow in the footsteps of Lyndon B. Johnson, a big, blustering megalomaniacal narcissistic psychopath whose character flaws confirmed Americans’ impression that he was “illegitimate.”
So who is right? Is Trump a JFK or an LBJ?
First let’s consider the case that Trump is the second coming of JFK. Roberts casts Trump’s inaugural address as:
A declaration of war against the entirety of the American Ruling Establishment. All of it. Trump made it abundantly clear that Americans’ enemies are right here at home: globalists, neoconservatives and other unilateralists accustomed to imposing the US on the world and involving us in endless and expensive wars, politicians who serve the Ruling Establishment rather than the American people, indeed, the entire canopy of private interests that have run America into the ground while getting rich in the process.
At the rhetorical level, Trump’s speech did sound like he was declaring a JFK-style war against the special interests. But will Trump follow JFK’s footsteps and:
- print Constitutional currency, dooming the Fed and the banksters who own it
- crack down on organized crime
- try to put an end to nuclear weapons (with a special emphasis on making sure Israel doesn’t have any)
- force the big industrialists to serve the interests of the US and its working class (in JFK’s case by reining in the steel barons, in Trump’s by fully repatriating industrial production)
- end the oil depletion allowance
- “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds”
- end America’s idiotic wars (Vietnam for JFK, Afghanistan and the Middle East for Trump)
- end the “civilizational war” behind them (the war on Communism in JFK’s time, the war on Islam and Israel’s enemies disguised as a “war on terror” today)
Trump may talk a good game, but talk is cheap. Is he really going to take action? How can a mob front man crack down on organized crime including the banksters? How can Trump end nuclear weapons by massively accelerating the construction of new-generation nuclear weapons, as he has promised?
How can a billionaire capitalist free-trade-lover end the “free trade” era and re-industrialize America? How can a crazed Islamophobe and lover of Israel, surrounded by the most bellicose Zionists, end the war on Islam and Israel’s enemies?
And does Trump really have enough muscle behind him to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds”?
Unless I miss my guess, Trump is no JFK. I would love to be proven wrong. (Not by an assassination, of course, but by Trump finishing what JFK started.) How about Cohen’s claim that Trump is another LBJ?
The interesting thing about Cohen’s piece is that, unlike most of what you are likely to read in the Washington Post, it hints at LBJ’s complicity in the JFK assassination, citing,
A hoax in 1967 by Paul Krassner in the counterculture magazine the Realist. Tongue in cheek, it reported that Johnson had climbed into Kennedy’s casket and there done unspeakable things. The story was abominable, tasteless and deserved any other insult you could throw at it, but some people believed it. I know. I heard it.
The “unspeakable things” involved a disgusting act that would have had the effect of making a bullet entry wound larger and thus resembling an exit wound. And in fact, Lyndon Baines Johnson did preside over a government that mutilated JFK’s body in order to turn entry wounds into apparent exit wounds, as fully documented in David Lifton’s Best Evidence.
Krassner’s satirical piece barely exaggerated LBJ’s psychopathology — necrophilia on his own murder victim would have been very much in character — and did not in the least distort the truth about Johnson’s disgusting complicity in the murder of President Kennedy.
Cohen presumably knows all this. So when he compares the “awful truth” about LBJ to the “awful truth” about Trump, referencing the leaked report about Trump’s perverted behavior in a Moscow hotel, he is telling us that he finds it plausible: “(LBJ) was deemed capable of anything — of lying and perversion of all kinds. This is where Trump stands now.”
Like LBJ, Cohen tells us, Trump is a malignant narcissist, a sociopath, and the American people have for the most part already figured this out. Character is destiny, Cohen says, and Trump’s destiny is to go down in flames.
Normally I agree with Paul Craig Roberts far more than with the Washington Post. But this time, I’m afraid Dr. Roberts may be a tad over-optimistic in his assessment of Trump’s intentions and character.
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