Wikileaks has been demonized by statists for releasing Hillary Clinton’s e-mails to the public in the interests of full transparency because many democrats claim it cost her the election. But it didn’t, and the fact that she was sending sensitive information on an insecure, private server is a problem in and of itself. The content of those emails certainly made many lose trust in her and rightfully so. The same should be done with Trump and this would likely reduce suspicion that Wikileaks was motivated by partisan politics when they released Clinton’s emails. Regardless, whistleblowers should not be punished for exposing the crimes of those in power. When that happens that is one indication we live in a profoundly sick society.
Because Edward Snowden who is loosely associated with Wikileaks is taking asylum in Russia, this has been used to concoct the absurd conclusion that Russia “rigged the election.” (There are also claims that the Russian intelligence agency, GRU, hacked the servers and sent the emails to Wikileaks to publish but there is no evidence of that and is irrelevant.) Clinton won the popular vote by two million votes. She only lost because the electoral college, which decides who should become President, not the American people, wanted someone even more ecocidal, pro-war, anti-immigrant, and pro-austerity than her. Democrats and statist “left” political pundits ought to be angry with the electoral college for this reason, not Russia.
Other supposed ties Trump has to Russia are weak at best. One of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, reached out to a spokeperson for Putin in an attempt to get approval for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow during his campaign for the Presidency but the approval wasn’t given and the project was abandoned. Others point to meetings between Trump administration officials and ambassadors to the US from Russia but meeting with ambassadors to the US from other countries is part of their job. The only “Russian connection” worth discussing is the business Rex Tillerson, former Exxon CEO, did with Russian oil companies Rosneft and Gazprom though that’s noteworthy not because they are Russian companies but because it is an example of state capitalism and cronyism, profiting from a position of power in politics.
Far more important than this, however, is the fact that Trump is guilty of war crimes and ecocide. Furthermore, this demonization of Russia coming from Hillary supporters is highly hypocritical and ironic given the fact that as Secretary of State she helped facilitate the sale of a $500 million uranium mining contract to Russia via Canadian mining executive, Frank Giustra who sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Frank has given $32.7 million to the Foundation and pledged $100 million to the “Clinton Guistra Enterprise Partnership” in exchange for mining contracts. Frank was granted the uranium contract days after Hillary dined with Bill and Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, (who has tortured political dissidents and yet been praised by Bill for his “human rights record”). Just days after winning the contract, Frank made his first $32.7 million dollar donation to Clinton Foundation. In January 2013, these contracts were then sold to a Russian state-owned company, ARMZ Uranium Holding, a subsidiary of Russia’s atomic energy agency, Rosatom. This sale was reviewed by the State Department while Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State. Shortly after which, a Russian investment bank with ties to Uranium One and Russian intelligence called Renaissance Capital paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.
This anti-Russia sentiment that has become ubiquitous in America once again is reminiscent of the McCarthy era, except this time it’s democrats instead of Republicans vilifying Russia, which is ironic seeing as communism was never implemented in the Soviet Union, (it simply called itself “communist”) it has always been a capitalist empire like America, and sectors of the democratic party lean towards socialism anyway. It is also ironic that average Americans are more concerned about this than the fact that members of Trump’s cabinet sympathize with the Klan, and Jeff Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in the 1980s for this very reason, saying he thought they were “OK until I found out that they smoked pot.” Trump also called Neo-Nazis at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville who were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E Lee, one of whom killed an activist and injured 19 others when he intentionally plowed his vehicle through a counter-protest, “fine people.” David Duke, former “grand wizard” of the KKK has also endorsed Trump. So it appears average Americans are less concerned about Nazism than they are about the made up threat of communism.
The McCarthyists point to Russia’s laws prohibiting gay marriage and adoption by single gays, along with Putin’s prohibition of the distribution of materials that promote “non-traditional relationships” to minors and his criminalization of gay pride parades, speeches promoting LGBT equality, and speaking positively about gay rights in front of minors. These laws are terrible, of course, but the democrats making these criticisms conveniently leave out the fact that one of America’s top allies is Saudi Arabia (a country that is seen more favorably by brain-dead Americans according to recent polls) where you can be beheaded for gay sex. Where is the outrage there or the outrage over the fact that Trump approved the largest sale of arms in history to Saudi Arabia in May? It is nonexistent because Saudi Arabia provides the USG with so much oil money and most people don’t pay attention to anything but the rhetoric of political pundits, politicians, and talking heads who insist the focus should be on “those no-good Rooskies!”
Putin is a despot but so are most politicians the world over. Demonizing Russia alone is childish and focusing on Trump’s alleged connections with Russia and friendly relations with Putin is nonsensical. The Soviet Union is long dead and Russia is no longer “the enemy.” If anything, friendly relations between Putin and Trump are potentially positive (so long as the US and Russia don’t team up for more imperial ventures) as Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal according to estimates made bv the Federation of American Scientists, and it would be prudent to avoid sparking another nuclear missile crisis or WWIII. No democrat is arguing for the disassembly of Russian nuclear stockpiles anyway. Russia is not likely to use their nuclear weapons unless this anti-Russia hysteria in America boils over to the point at which the USG strikes first.
Some argue that Russia is a threat because it recently increased its defense budget. But the absolute hypocrisy of this claim is lost on statist democrats as well as the US is by far the largest spender on weapons, the world’s largest threat to world peace, and Russia’s defense spending increase was a response to NATO expansion and the imperialism of the US. Russia spends $85 billion per year on its military while the US now spends $700 billion with the recent passage of the NDAA of 2018. One legitimate critcism of the Russian government (not being widely made by anyone) is that it is guilty of war crimes in Syria. But the USG is even more guilty of those crimes. Some argue Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea is evidence the country is reverting to it’s old, more imperial ambitions and that this has to be countered. But the McCarthyists couldn’t care less about Ukraine.
Major American weapons contractors are also to blame for this resurgence of the demonization of Russia in order to increase weapons sales and democrats are unknowingly parroting their arguments. Retired Army Gen. Richard Cody, a vice president at L-3 Communications lamented the end of Cold War as being bad for the weapons business and when speaking to investors, he framed Russia’s relative rise as an opportunity to sell US allies weapons. Aerospace Industries Association, a lobby group for Textron, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others made the case in February that the Pentagon is spending too little to counter “Russian aggression on NATO’s doorstep.” The Intercept reported in August 2016 that “Think tanks with major funding from defense contractors, including the Lexington Institute and the Atlantic Council, have similarly demanded higher defense spending to counter Russia.”
As mentioned what’s much more significant than Trump’s alleged ties to Russia (real or not) is the fact that he is guilty of war crimes and ecocide. Where is the focus on that? This article will discuss both as they are nearly absent from the discussion on mainstream, corporate news stations who can’t stop screaming about Russia.
Trump’s War Crimes and Warmongering:
The Trump administration wasted no time to quench their blood lust once in power. On January 29th under orders from Trump the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 raided what they claimed was a compound with al Qaeda officials. 30 were killed, including 10 women and children and 8-year-old Nawar Al-Awlaki, finishing the vendetta Obama started when he ordered the murder of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son and friends via drone strike.1 The 8-year-old was shot in the neck by the Seal Team and left to bleed to death.
The Washington Post reported in March that “In the first two months of the year, U.S. strikes were responsible for more civilian casualties than Russian strikes for the first time since Russia intervened in Syria’s civil war in 2015, according to Airwars figures.”2 A Syrian from Raqqa living in Turkey who was interviewed for the article and spoke under the condition of anonymity explained “They are hitting everything that isn’t a small house,” including the passengers ferries that travel across the river, which intersects the city, the only means to leave after the bridges were demolished.
In March alone U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on Iraq and Syria killed up to 1,000 civilians under Trump according to the UK based project Airwars. On March 13th 240 civilians, including women and children and at least one pregnant woman in al-Jadida, Iraq were killed by US bombs ordered by Trump.3 The civilian homes were bombed again 4 days later, completely demolishing them. The administration attempted to justify the strike by claiming they were targeting ISIL snipers taking cover on some of the civilian homes. Journalists were later barred from visiting the site of the destruction in a clear violation of press freedoms.
On March 16th under orders from Trump the US military fired four Hellcat missiles and dropped a 500 pound bomb on a mosque-complex filled with worshipers in the village of al-Jinah in Syria with a US Reaper Drone, killing 49 civilians and injuring over 100 according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, (SOHR)4. The US military claimed it was targeting a meeting of “Al-Qaeda members” but this was later shown to be a lie. No apology or even acknowledgment of the civilian deaths was issued by the military or Trump. On March 20th, under orders from Trump the US military bombed the al-Badiyah school in Mansoura, Raqqa province of Syria where at least 50 internally displaced families were taking shelter. SOHR director, Rami Abdel Rahman, told the French news agency AFP that “We can now confirm that 33 people were killed, and they were displaced civilians from Raqqa, Aleppo and Homs.”5 Two days later, US led coalition forces bombed a marketplace and bakery in Tabqa, killing 51 more civilians according to Human Rights Watch.6
From the beginning of March to March 21, 101 civilians were killed by U.S. Strikes in Tabqa according to Hussam Essa, founder of the citizen journalist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. Other targets he said included a carwash and a slaughterhouse. At least 307 civilians were killed and 273 were injured in western Mosul between February 17 and March 22 alone by US led coalition airstrikes according to the UN.7 The bombers were supposedly targeting ISIL snipers and ISIL was blamed for using human shields as if this excuses the coalition’s wholesale murder of civilians. Most of these deaths occurred on March 17th when US led coalition planes bombed a house in the al-Jadida neighborhood where 140 civilians were taking shelter and had allegedly been forced in by ISIL. Anonymous blogger, Mosul Eye, sent the coordinates of homes where civilians were trapped to Iraqi forces days prior but the bombs were dropped anyway. Meanwhile, the Trump administration gave the Pentagon the power to lift the established US troop caps of 5,000 in Iraq and 500 in Syria.
On April 6 Trump ordered USS Ross to launch 59 Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles at Al Shayrat airfield and nearby villages in Syria, allegedly in response Bashar al-Assad’s sarin nerve gas attack on civilians on April 3rd in Idlib province. As parasitical investors smelled blood, Raytheon’s stock surged in response.8 While reducing Syria’s military capabilities is positive, it could also provoke greater tensions with the Russian government, which supports Assad. Furthermore, the attack didn’t just target Syrian weapons. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the attack killed nine civilians, including four children. The same day another US missile launched at al-Hamrat village killed 4 civilians, including one child and more US missiles injured seven civilians after striking houses in al-Mansoul near the airbase.9
On April 13 Trump ordered a Lockheed MC-130 to drop a 21,000 pound GBU-43, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal in the Achin district of Nangarhar province in Eastern Afghanistan, which struck at 7.32pm local time. The bomb was dropped likely in retaliation for the murder of US Special Forces Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar reportedly killed by ISIL in the region five days prior. The Sun reported 90 ISIL members were killed in this strike but fortunately no civilians were killed according to Reuters. ISIL, however, denied any of its members were killed in the strike.
On May 20th 2017, Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the largest arms deal in history, including $500 million of precision guided missiles .After his election, Trump called for an end to Saudi oil exports to the US and accused the country of executing gay people and enslaving women, one of the very few true claims he’s made, yet, of course, he was willing to put that aside for money from the dictatorship currently slaughtering civilians in Yemen.
In June under orders from Trump, the U.S. military dropped white phosphorus, which can burn through flesh to the bone, on thousands of civilians in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria on at least two occasions.10 US Central Command has also admitted to using depleted uranium munitions in Syria, which can cause birth defects for generations and have plagued Iraqis since the US military began using them there soon after invading the country in 2003. On June 15th the White House announced the number of US military deployed in Afghanistan will be increased from 11,000 to about 15,000.11
In its 2017 quarterly report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict in Afghanistan, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan noted “During the first nine months of 2017, the mission documented 466 civilian casualties (205 deaths and 261 injured), a 52 percent increase in civilian casualties from air strikes compared to the same period in 2016. Women and children comprised more than two thirds – 68 per cent – of civilian casualties from aerial attacks.”12
From August 8th 2014 to October 31s 2017, between 16,592 and 24,640 civilian non-combatants have been killed by US led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria according to Airwars.13 Huge increases in civilian deaths have come with Trump’s presidency as you can see in the graphs below from Airwars.
On September 18th the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the unconscionable $700 billion bill to fund U.S. wars and the Pentagon, exemplifying the fact that there is no discernible or meaningful difference between red and blue party politicians aside from their rhetoric. They’re both war-mongering vulture capitalist parasites. The Senate voted 89 to 8 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, increasing the already insanely large military budget by $80 billion annually—far exceeding the $54 billion increase Trump initially asked for. The increase is almost double the cost of a bill sponsored by Bernie Sanders that would allow US students to attend public colleges and universities tuition-free. Trump’s bill, on the other hand, allocates almost $2 billion per day merely to kill people and expand American hegemony.
Shifting his focus to Asia, on September 19th 2017 in a speech to the UN, Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea”14 Trump has also deployed three US aircraft carrier groups with nuclear missiles around the Korean peninsula.15 Kim Jong-un is escalating tensions as well with the same kind of infantile behavior, attempting to best Trump in displays of military might. As an example, the North Korean government just conducted an underground nuclear explosion, the largest in its history and has threatened to nuke the Pacific Ocean.
Trump has also wasted no time in attacking scientists, the scientific method, and the environment. At the end of January shortly after Trump entered office, the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology Policy removed all mentions of “science” from the description of its mission. Its work once called “science-based” on its website is now called “economically and technologically achievable”.16 Far worse on February 7th the army corps of engineers under Trump announced it would grant the final permit needed to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline and direct it under Lake Oahe. Adding to the pollution of our water, on February 16, 2017 Trump signed a House Joint Resolution to repeal the stream protection rule, which limited dumping of mining tailings (waste) in local waterways because who needs clean water aside from every life form on the planet?
On March 24th Trump gave oil giant TransCanada the federal permit it needed to continue construction of its Keystone XL pipeline.. Not surprisingly on November 16th, 210,000 gallons of oil spilled from the pipeline in South Dakota, despite repeated promises from TransCanada this wouldn’t happen.
On March 28th Trump issued an executive order that requires the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan for the purpose of “suspending, revising, or rescinding” it. The Clean Power Plan would cut emissions from coal power plants by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. But it may take years for Trump to kill the plan if he succeeds. Trump’s executive order on the 28th also requires the Secretary of the Interior to “take all steps necessary and appropriate to amend or withdraw Secretary’s Order 3338…,and to lift any and all moratoria on Federal land coal leasing activities related to Order 3338.”17 40% of coal plants are already located on federal land, and Trump hopes to increase this percentage. The order also removes a measure that required the feds to consider climate change in their decisions and a measure that put a cost on carbon pollution.
On June 1st 2017, Trump announced he was pulling the US out of 2015 Paris climate accord, itself a highly weak agreement and not nearly enough of a commitment we need to mitigate climate change as the agreement allows each country to set its own goals for reducing emissions and there is no mechanism to enforce governments to even met these goals. According to the terms of the agreement, no party can withdraw from it until November 2020, making Trump’s announcement essentially meaningless but it is exemplary of his disdain for the environment and his insistence on ignoring even the most modest agreements on the reductions of emissions.
On June 13th 2017, the EPA announced that it would suspend a 2016 rule that would limit methane and smog-forming pollutants from oil and gas wells. Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the EPA, originally sued the EPA when the rule was first enacted in 2016. Due to resistance, the EPA settled on a 90-day suspicion of the rule instead, which was fortunately struck down by a federal appeals court. Pruitt also attempted to suspend regulations that sought to minimize chemical accidents for two years.
On June 27th 2017, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule18 also called the “Waters of the United States” rule following a Trump executive order of February 28, 2017 that demanded the rule be rewritten because again why would we need clean water? It’s only the main building block of life after all.
On August 26th Trump signed executive order 13792 19 that instructs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monuments over 100,000 acres protected under the 1906 Antiquities Act to decide which to shrink or eliminate and open to commercial logging, fishing, mining, oil drilling, and other forms of exploitation. The monuments under review include Bear Ears, a 1.3 million acre Monument in Utah co-managed by five Native American tribes with ancestral ties to the land, which the administration seeks to shrink by 1 million acres, the Northeast Canyons and Seamonts, a marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean 4,913 square miles in size off the coast of New England home to multiple species of whales, deepsea corals, sea turtles and more, Berryessa Snow Mountain, a 331,000 acre monument home to bald eagles in the winter and Native American cultural sites, the Organ Mountains spanning 496,000 acres of New Mexico and home to 870 vascular plant species, the Mariana Trench, 95,216 square miles in size and home to the deepest section of the ocean in the world along with snailfish, crustacean supergiants, amoebas, shrimp, and sea cucumbers, the Pacific Remote Islands, a 490,000 square mile monument home to unique species of trees, grasses, sea turtles, whales, Hawaiian monk seals, corals, fish, shellfish, seabirds, insects, water birds, and land birds not found anywhere else on Earth, Rose Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean, a habitat for giant clams, reef sharks, and rare corals, Papahanaumokuakea encompassing 583,000 square miles in the Pacific ocean, the Carrizo Plain, home to diverse and endangered wildlife and plants, the 377,000 acre Upper Missouri River Break home to six wilderness study areas, and the Giant Sequoia monument home to 34 groves of the largest species of tree in the world.
On October 5th, the Senate passed Trump’s 2018 Orwellian federal budget by a vote of 51 to 49. Every republican but one voted for it. The budget cuts Medicaid funding by 1 trillion dollars and Medicare funding by $470 billion and calls for a 90% cut to environmental education through the EPA, a 78% funding cut to environmental justice programs, and termination of funding to estuary reserves, coastal management, and the Sea Grant, which funds universities involved in conservation and studies of marine areas and life. It also cuts funding for climate change research programs along with domestic and international efforts to curb climate change. To read more about the effects this budget will have on the environment and other sectors, you can read my previous article on Trump here.
On November 16 2017, the House passed Trump’s tax plan, which slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and eliminates deduction for medical expenses.20 But the plan still has to be passed by the Senate, (which it likely will, unfortunately) to become law. The bill as written cannot be passed, however, without being modified to adhere to the Byrd Rule, which stipulates the national debt cannot be increased by the bill after the first ten years. The Tax Policy Center has said that the bill would increase the debt by $7 trillion in the first 10 years alone mainly to benefit the already wealthy. The day prior to the House vote on the bill, the Senate added a measure to the bill to permit oil drilling in 800,000 acres (including 2000 acres of coastal plains) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a 19.28 million acre area of protected wilderness in Alaska home to birch, spruce, and aspen trees, Harlequin ducks, mergansers, peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, golden eagles, polar bears, wolverines, black bears, grizzly bears, Alaskan moose, porcupine caribou, muskoxen, Canadian lynxes, martens, wolves, and hundreds of species of migratory birds.
I honestly blame the rise of the psychopathic, ecocidal, xenophobic, racist, and sexist Trump on democrats in power because Clinton and her cronies rigged the DNC to sabotage Bernie’s campaign (who was at least relatively more progressive) and the rest of the party held up Clinton as some kind “feminist” hero to counter Trump when in reality they’re friends in real life and believe in quite similar things. Both parties are morally bankrupt. The only difference is the republicans are slightly more honest about how much they hate everyone who’s not white, rich, and statist.
The Trump administration is literally destroying the natural world and threatens to bring us into a new era of nuclear war and he hasn’t even been in office for an entire year. His war crimes alone are sufficient grounds for impeachment but the Senate will likely never impeach him. They have supported him almost every step of the way. But he and the rest of his cabinet must be removed from power. Signing petitions, sit-ins, protests, marching, and contacting Congress isn’t working. So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to let him destroy the natural beauty left of the Earth or will you take real, meaningful action against this parasitical administration? We may only have a short amount of time to act before it’s too late.