Trump's Anti-Interventionism - Neocons Hate It As Anti-War Left Comes Around

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Walsh via,

Until recently the progressive mind has been resolutely closed and stubbornly frozen in place against all things Trump.

But cracks are appearing in the ice.  With increasing frequency over the last few months, some of the most thoughtful left and progressive figures have begun to speak favorably of aspects of Trump’s foreign policy.  Let us hear from these heretics, among them William Greider, Glen Ford, John Pilger, Jean Bricmont, Stephen F. Cohen and William Blum.  Their words are not to be construed as “endorsements,” but rather an acknowledgment of Trump’s anti-interventionist views, the impact those views are having and the alternative he poses to Hillary Clinton in the current electoral contest.

First, let’s consider the estimable William Greider, a regular contributor to The Nation and author of Secrets of the Temple.  He titled a recent article for the Nation, “Donald Trump Could be The Military Industrial Complex’s Worst Nightmare: The Republican Front Runner is Against Nation Building.  Imagine That.” 

Greider’s article is brief, and I recommend reading every precious word of it.  Here is but one quote: “Trump has, in his usual unvarnished manner, kicked open the door to an important and fundamental foreign-policy debate.”  And here is a passage from Trump’s interview with the Washington Post that Greider chooses to quote:

“’I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’d be blown up,’ Trump told the editors.  ‘And we’d build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild it three times. And yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn.… at what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially in the inner cities.’”

Trump talks about building infrastructure for the inner cities, especially better schools for African American children, rather than bombing people of color halfway around the world!  That is hardly racism.  And it is not how the mainstream media wants us to think of The Donald.

Next, Glen Ford, the eloquent radical Left executive editor of Black Agenda Report, a superb and widely read outlet, penned an article in March 2016, with the following title: “Trump Way to the Left of Clinton on Foreign Policy – In Fact, He’s Damn Near Anti-Empire.” Ford’s piece is well worth reading in its entirety; here are just a few quotes :

“Trump has rejected the whole gamut of U.S. imperial war rationales, from FDR straight through to the present.”


“If Trump’s tens of millions of white, so-called ‘Middle American’ followers stick by him, it will utterly shatter the prevailing assumption that the American public favors maintenance of U.S. empire by military means.”


“Trump shows no interest in ‘spreading democracy,’ like George W. Bush, or assuming a responsibility to ‘protect’ other peoples from their own governments, like Barack Obama and his political twin, Hillary Clinton.”


“It is sad beyond measure that the near-extinction of independent Black politics has placed African Americans in the most untenable position imaginable at this critical moment: in the Hillary Clinton camp.

Next, let’s turn to John Pilger, the Left wing Australian journalist and documentary film maker who has been writing about Western foreign policy with unimpeachable accuracy and wisdom since the Vietnam War era.   Here are some of his comments on Trump:

“..Donald Trump is being presented (by the mass media) as a lunatic, a fascist.  He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure.  That alone should arouse our skepticism.”


“Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.”


“In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as ‘a world substantially made over in [America’s] own image’.  The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. …”


“Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted ‘exceptionalism’ is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.

The money quote is: “The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton.”  When Pilger submitted his article to the “progressive” magazine Truthout, this sentence was deleted, censored as he reported, along with a few of the surrounding sentences.  Such censorship had not been imposed on Pilger by Truthout ever before.  Truthout’s commitment to free speech apparently has limits in the case of The Donald versus Hillary, rather severe ones.  So one must read even the progressive press with some skepticism when it comes to Trump.

Trump has also been noticed by the Left in Europe, notably by the sharp minded Jean Bricmont, physicist and author of Humanitarian Imperialism who writes here:

(Trump) “is the first major political figure to call for ‘America First’ meaning non-interventionism.  He not only denounces the trillions of dollars spent in wars, deplores the dead and wounded American soldiers, but also speaks of the Iraqi victims of a war launched by a Republican President. He does so to a Republican public and manages to win its support. He denounces the empire of US military bases, claiming to prefer to build schools here in the United States. He wants good relations with Russia. He observes that the militarist policies pursued for decades have caused the United States to be hated throughout the world. He calls Sarkozy a criminal who should be judged for his role in Libya. Another advantage of Trump: he is detested by the neoconservatives, who are the main architects of the present disaster.”

And then there is Stephen F. Cohen, contributing editor for The Nation and Professor Emeritus of Russian History at Princeton and NYU.  Cohen makes the point that Trump, alone among the presidential candidates, has raised five urgent and fundamental questions, which all other candidates in the major parties have either scorned or more frequently ignored. The five questions all call into question the interventionist warlike stance of the US for the past 20 plus years. Cohen enumerates the questions here, thus:

“Should the United States always be the world’s leader and policeman?


“What is NATO’s proper mission today, 25 years after the end of the Soviet Union and when international terrorism is the main threat to the West?


“Why does Washington repeatedly pursue a policy of regime change, in Iraq, Libya, possibly in Ukraine, and now in Damascus, even though it always ends in “disaster”?


“Why is the United States treating Putin’s Russia as an enemy and not as a security partner?


“And should US nuclear weapons doctrine include a no-first use pledge, which it does not?”

Cohen comments in detail on these questions here. Whatever one may think of the answers Trump has provided to the five questions, there is no doubt that he alone among the presidential candidates has raised them – and that in itself is an important contribution.

At this point, I mention my own piece, which appeared late last year.  Entitled “Who is the Arch Racist, Hillary or The Donald”?  Like Cohen’s pieces, it finds merit with the Trump foreign policy in the context of posing a question.

Finally, let us turn to Bill Blum, who wrote an article entitled, “American Exceptionalism and the Election Made in Hell (Or Why I’d Vote for Trump Over Hillary).”  Again there is little doubt about the stance of Blum, who is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, a scholarly compendium, which Noam Chomsky calls “Far and away the best book on the topic.”

Blum begins his piece:

“If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump.”


“My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.”

And he concludes:

“He (Trump) calls Iraq ‘a complete disaster’, condemning not only George W. Bush but the neocons who surrounded him. ‘They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.’ He even questions the idea that ‘Bush kept us safe’, and adds that ‘Whether you like Saddam or not, he used to kill terrorists’.”


“Yes, he’s personally obnoxious. I’d have a very hard time being his friend. Who cares?”

I conclude with Blum’s words because they are most pertinent to our present situation.  The world is living through a perilous time when the likes of the neocons and Hillary Clinton could lead us into a nuclear Armageddon with their belligerence toward Russia and their militaristic confrontation with China.

The reality is that we are faced with a choice between Clinton and Trump, a choice which informs much of the above commentary.  Survival is at stake and we must consider survival first if our judgments are to be sane.

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LetThemEatRand's picture

Almost everything Trump says is close (enough) to dead on.  The problem is what will he do.  We still have a few months I suppose to see what he's made of in terms of taking money from bankers and other oligarchs.  I wrote him off until recently due to appointing a Goldman banker to raise funds, when I saw that he has a small "campaign war chest."  I read those stories as being a reason to consider supporting him again.

localsavage's picture

His biggest problem is a media which has been outright lying about what he says while giving Hillary a pass on everything.  He needs to keep hammering away and pointing out that the media, DNC, RNC and huge corporations are all looting the rest of us.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I think his biggest problems are:  1) wanting to torture "terrorists"; 2) thinking Snowden is a traitor; 3) hiring Goldman bankers to raise money for him.  I give him huge credit for being the only candidate to raise very important economic issues, calling out the role of money in politics, and calling out the war machine.  

UrbanMiner's picture

Exactly the three issues I had, and I think perhaps the only issues, thus far. He may be reasonable enough to change his perspective.

santafe's picture
santafe (not verified) UrbanMiner Jun 22, 2016 8:29 PM

It's all for show. The NEOCONS are the ones backing Trump. As President, HE WILL GIVE THEM their war.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) santafe Jun 22, 2016 8:45 PM

Yep, I'm on board as long as he keeps that Sheldon Adelson from stirring him to fighting the inevitable marijuana legalization.  Not that Hillary's history is any better.

jeff montanye's picture

that is the question.  but if the neocons are backing trump why are their mouth organs, to a pbs, an nbc and a washington post and a new york times doing everything possible to defeat him and elect hillary clinton?  at some point you must ask yourself, if so many of the people i view as part of the problem, the zionazis, hate trump, might not he be more of a challenge to the establishment than that establishment would have us believe?

they paint him as a crude, racist bully because that is the persona he used to defeat the particularly weak remainder of the republican field in the first half of this year.  if he keeps hammering on the failed wars with their waste of money, blood and honor, all of which could be better employed at home, and the criminal banksters and corporatists who have destroyed the middle and working classes while subverting the government to coconspire in the greatest control fraud of all time, he can and should win. that these critiques are critiques of hillary clinton is plain for all to see.

santafe's picture
santafe (not verified) UrbanMiner Jun 22, 2016 8:30 PM


Shemp 4 Victory's picture



You're fucked in the head.


santafe's picture

No Argument = Insult. Never fails. Empty barrels only make noise.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

So where's your argument?

The neocons are supporting Trump? That's not an argument, it's an unsupported assertion.

You made the claim, so support it.

BarkingCat's picture

He does not have an argument, only his shitty website to spam us with.

MasterControl's picture

You two cuck pussies have a problem with waterboarding terrorists?

jeff montanye's picture

i do.  i don't think i was one of the cuck (cock?) pussies you addressed but i'll tell you why.  

first, the "terrorists" that are operating in, say, libya, syria, iraq or afghanistan are not terrorists in most cases.  they are patriots fighting back against rich white men who have been attacking them since well before the nineteenth century.  

second, the "terrorists" who attack in western countries are in many cases either doing the bidding of or have been seduced by the zionists who so very much want the western countries to do their work for them and turn all countries in israel's orbit into failed states or they are the zionists themselves using arab masks as beards to fool the gullible goys, as in 9-11 for certain sure.

third, torture is morally wrong and illegal.  fourth, it often gives bad information.

get out of these wars, use trade and aid and owed reparations to relate to these countries and an even-handed policy in palestine, with the exception of switching the gravy train to tel aviv into yet more, so so deserved reparations to the abused, persecuted palestinians and see what that might bring.  what we've been doing isn't working for us the u.s. because it was never designed to work for us.  it was seven countries in five years for the likud/mossad.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Which brings us back to AIPAC and the State Dept. which I got slammed on here today at ZH for addressing my concerns.

Fuck sick of this hypocrisy.

Help Is Not Coming's picture

"third, torture is morally wrong and illegal."

Torture is "legal" in the United States but it is "unlawful" as well as being morally wrong. How do I know this?

Because US Attorney General Eric Holder said so in a letter to the Russian Justice Minister. When the US Attorney General publishes an open letter you know that there is literally an army of lawyers pouring over every word. I find it very telling that they chose to make this distinction with the use of the term "unlawful".

See Blacks Law dictionary for the distinction between the two.

Omerta's picture

"patriots fighting back against rich white men"

And what about all of the Christian genocide, I suppose you'll tell me next that they equate them with these "rich white men" you mentioned? Yes, I down-voted you!

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


I think his biggest problems are:  1) wanting to torture "terrorists"; 2) thinking Snowden is a traitor; 3) hiring Goldman bankers to raise money for him.

Of the three points you've raised, only the third one is demonstrably true. The first two may or may not be true, as politicians have been known occasionally to be somewhat less than truthful while campaigning.

Even if the first two are true, then he is no worse than Hillary regarding these two points. The difference is that he appears to be the type that doesn't cling to stiff ideology if he can be convinced that it is a losing position. Hillary, on the other hand, knows that she is right on all issues at all times. Anyone that tries to convince her otherwise, even in a sincerely helpful manner, is the enemy and must be destroyed.

jeff montanye's picture

excellent analysis.  i would go a step further in noting that trump has only said that he would kill the families of terrorists or torture terrorists.  obama and hillary have actually done both not only to terrorists but to actual innocents, wedding parties, hospitals, people of a certain age, sex and location, etc. as well.

snowden is not a traitor.  he would not be in russia (as if russia were even a true enemy) now if the u.s. had not chased him there and the state department, lately under hillary, newly under john kerry, had not revoked his passport while he was in russia in transit to latin america. trump's pronouncement here strikes me, as you, like campaign trail rhetoric, similar to the dancing muslims in new jersey on 9-11 (there were fewer and they were mossad).  but trump and clinton are pretty close here. 

hiring goldman to raise money for you is to me different, maybe not a lot but still different from taking money from them for essentially nothing but future control of government to their ends.  remember the money hillary got for her "speeches" was not even the soft bribery of campaign contributions, it was old school, straight to her calfskin ralph lauren purse.

your last paragraph is particularly apt.

Duc888's picture



I agree LetThemEatRand

Heavy's picture

"I think his biggest problems are:  1) wanting to torture "terrorists"; 2) thinking Snowden is a traitor; 3) hiring Goldman bankers to raise money for him"


I agree, it's not easy for me to ovelook this...until i look at hillary

MalteseFalcon's picture

Just be sure to tell your "Progressive friends, if you have any, that Hitlery is the "war" candidate and Trump is the "peace" candidate.

Bush Baby's picture

Trumo is not flawless, but if you make two columns and start adding flaws and screw ups between Hillary and Trump, there's no comparison, not even close.

The fact that he has no major donations tells me he has not been corrupted.

I'd love to see hime take down the billion dollar Clinton machine.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

People have become desensitized to Trump's tone and charges toward Hillary, because the MSM is helping out.

Rather than keep ratcheting up, which runs the risk of self-destruction or turning into a Jerry Springer Show, he needs PROXIES and attack dogs to go after Hillary.  The ideal ones would be women who accused Bill of rape, to come forward.


VegasBob's picture

Trump's speech today was a breath of fresh air.

I got an email this evening from a liberal friend who was just horrified at all of Trump's "lies" about the fucking bitch Hitlery.  He's not capable of admitting that the Hildebeest told a bunch of lies about Trump yesterday, while Trump told the truth about the Hildebeest today.

It's about time that a Republican takes off the gloves and tells the truth about that lying cunt Hitlery Clinton.

Hitlery and the Democrats love to dish out their bullshit.  They're not used to having anybody throw it back in their faces.

Hillary Clinton - world-class liar.

I love it.


scm's picture

Trump/Clinton 2016!!!

because, what difference does it make


greenskeeper carl's picture

Its doesn't make a difference. The anti-war left is a myth. There are a few anti-war leftists on this site, like LTER, that are actually honest, if slightly misguided, my opninion...(forgive me if thats an unfair description, LTER, but thats how you usually come across) The anti war left will disappear at the ballot box the same way they did in 2012. Rabid warmongers and interventionists are considered nazis by most on the left if the have an 'R' by their name, but they are given a pass if they do the same shit with a 'D'. The leftist anti-war movement pretty much disappeared once Obama was in charge. Look for the same thing with Clinton. She can kill any number of brown people overseas, but as long as she allows men to put on a skirt and pee in the womens bathroom, most leftists will support her. Pathetic.

jeff montanye's picture

that is all too true and ridiculous, of the anti-war left, in the extreme. while historically the anti-war left had no problem attacking lyndon johnson, and he actually did some bravish, leftist things on the civil rights front, and some of the left intelligentsia as quoted in this post are able to distinguish the less warlike aspects of trump, far, far too many of the foot soldiers of the anti-war left are utter tools of the red team blue team fiction.  it's sad but it's true.

one would think that the enormous contradictions of the obama administration (nobel peace prize winner brags about being good at killing people, jails bradley/chelsea manning in solitary after promising whistle blowers protected treatment, protests "dumb" iraq war, starts two newer, dumber wars in libya and syria) and the upcoming dissing of the bernie bunch (i'm one) would open some eyes and maybe they will but it remains to be seen.

this sanders supporter (have three t shirts) considers himself "left with trump" and will vote for him in november, if he survives that long.

scm's picture

I'm bashing trump. Why more upvote a than down?

doctor10's picture

as per usual almost anything emanating from DC today has the inverse of its title as reality...hence only in Alice in Wonderland DC can the whoelsale trashing of nations that starte din Bosnia in the 90's and continues right to the current genocide attempts in Syria -be euphemistically termed "nation-building"


accordingly -invert most anything said about The Donald and Hillary if you need to apporximate the truth of the situation

BarkingCat's picture

Started much earlier than Bosnia.

Fuck, it probably really started with the first ship of whites that landed on the shores of the Americas and never really stopped.

That's of course only considering American history.

However human history has long forgotten war and genocides dating back to before men could write.

OldPhart's picture

I'm still dithering on "none of the fucking above" or Trump.

All I can say, in my mind, is Trump HAS been pretty fucking consistent over the last thirty years on his views.  Yes, he's changed a few, as I have.  That's what you do when you're a normal person.

Hillary will take us to nuclear war; Trump, I'm not so sure about.  But he's not an absolute on taking us to nuclear war, so I'm leaning hard that way.

Hillary, I'm hoping gets shot by some fucked up Bernie supporter in the Men's room at a third rate hotel.   Will love to save that video to replay month after month.  My real hope is that someone comes with piano wire and dangles her feet just off the standing position, filmed 'live' so I can savor that scene to the end of my life.  (Yes, I'm a sick fuck, but she's so much worse.)

Anyone but Hitlery.

Sanctuary2's picture

Trying to get dumbass Liberals to see past "HITLERY IS ONE OF US!" to see what TRUMPs agenda is, you would think be the icing on the cake-

But instead, the "She loves us gays and minorities" "Trump is racist" is all their dull minds can dwell upon;

Well these dumbasses can soon sit in a foxhole in the middle east somewhere, dodging bullets (or in a freezing one in Northern Ukraine) and ponder all the reason as to

WHY they did vote for this vulgar monster, HILLARY CLINTON

dexter_morgan's picture

They summarize well the very few thing I do like about Trump. But, I guess I don't have to like a person particularly to like their ideas. 

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) dexter_morgan Jun 22, 2016 8:12 PM

Trump is a flip flopper and if he gets (s)elected you will see what kind of lying shyster he is as he lies and says what he thinks 'mericans will belive just to get elected.

Trump is the "hope and change" candidate for the right, yet a gun grabber, israeli firster, pro abortion asshole...basically a democrat acting like a republican...

dexter_morgan's picture

So Hillary is the better choice is what you are saying. So what then is his real goal in trying to get elected? He's just another blame America firster, America hater like all the rest?

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) dexter_morgan Jun 22, 2016 8:31 PM

There is no choice. The USA is screwed, any way you slice it.

No one president will save you, nor would the powers that be let one get elected.

All voting for the above is a violent, reprehensible act on your fellow citizens.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


The USA is screwed, any way you slice it.

Pretty much.

And if Hillary becomes president, humanity is screwed, any way you slice it.

So at least there's sort of a choice there.

thinkmoretalkless's picture

We don't have to wait for Hillary to be elected to find out what corrupt lying bag of crap she is.

Frontline Retailer's picture

You have a problem understanding how the world of politics works, similar to the way sausages are made. Utopia does not exist in this world, yet. Perhaps in 2024 Trump's son will give it a go. Oh, 2020, he will be re-elected. Don't bother registering the website, I already did.

jeff montanye's picture

your quote from otto von bismarck is on point. politics is a messy business with many two steps forward, one back.  but if no action is possible to improve things, why all this mad typing/useless talk?  it also ignores much of history that seems to show some kind of halting progress toward greater awareness and understanding.  to claim all is lost just when this incredibly powerful tool of the internet and personal computers has been achieved seems a bit wussy.

donald trump may still be a fraud but he may also be the greatest challenge the deep state has faced, ever.  unlike john kennedy, trump probably knows of what they are capable.  and their greatest achievement, 9-11 is also their greatest vulnerablility.  it stands there in history awaiting deconstruction for the masses.

i'm surprised not one phd dissertator has been tempted.  i hope to be proven ignorant.

BarkingCat's picture

On main points Trump has been perfectly consistent for over 25 years. 

You can look at old interviews with Oprah and others.

You can read his old interviews.

Only thing that I am aware that he changed his mind on is firearms.

That happened after the Paris attack. He is not the only one. Gun rights advocates have been saying that what stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun for decades. The fact that over 100 people were killed in a capitol of a country that disarmed its citizens has had that effect on many thinking adults. It is a "oh shit" moment - if some of the victims had guns, they could have fought back.

However you can suckle Hillary's wrinkled dried up old niples if you'd like. It is your right.

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) Jun 22, 2016 8:09 PM

This is bullshit!
Trump loves the military wars, loves israel, and loves the MIC (although he got deferrments like the coward that he is)

The MIC is heavily invested in the golf industry.

You cannot buy a golf cart today without the money going to one of the .gov's military contractors.

I don't dislike zerohedges articles often, but this one is a steaming pile of hillary's vapid nasty cunt juice dripped in obamas anal warts.

dexter_morgan's picture

Well, at least you've been hooked in to ZH for a good long time. What is it, about 2 weeks now?

AdolphLustig's picture
AdolphLustig (not verified) dexter_morgan Jun 22, 2016 8:14 PM

3 or 4 years brah, this is a new incarnation.

The zerohedge intelligensta hate me cause I piss in their cornflakes.

Global Hunter's picture

what handle will you be using next week?