BERNIE DEFEATS HILLARY IN INDIANA; TRUMP TAKES STATE AS CRUZ QUITS; WALL STREET INSIDER TRUMP STILL FOOLING FOREIGN OBSERVERS WITH HIS STRATEGIC DECEPTIONS; TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH IN HITLER TRADITION OF BIG LIES
Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech delivered last week has been widely exposed as a tissue of lies, but unfortunately normally sagacious foreign observers have made the blunder of believing some of the promises made by the fascist billionaire. In part, this is understandable, since it has been many decades since a liar of the caliber of Trump has played a central role on the international scene.
Trump is no threat to the US military industrial complex. Trump is not a threat to the WASP Establishment or any other establishment. Trump is not an outsider. Trump is a Wall Street insider who, already in 1991, was classified as Too Big to Fail and awarded a sweetheart bailout by the New York Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington. Trump has no systematic idea of US foreign policy whatsoever. He is not a realist; he is closer to being a neocon, especially concerning ISIS and the Middle East. Trump is not a friend of Russia. Trump is not a noninterventionist. Trump is a cynical liar, megalomaniac, and sadist. Trump has been on all sides of all issues over several decades. Anyone taking Trump’s promises seriously is a glutton for punishment.
Perhaps the best way of illustrating Trump’s lies is first to refer them back to our Daily Briefing of last week, and then to focus this evening on the lies told by the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler when he had just seized power in Germany, between 1933 and 1935.
There is no doubt that the methodology of the “Big Lie” used by Trump is precisely the one described by Hitler in his Mein Kampf, in which he aesthetically unveiled many elements of his technique. Concerning the art of lying, Hitler wrote:
This was then the method, which Hitler and the Nazis relentlessly practiced on the German people, and on foreign governments around the world. Few demagogues in recent history have been able to match the shameless cynicism of Hitler’s lies. So if we are to deal with Trump effectively, we must go back to the source and remind ourselves of the multifarious forms which lies can assume, especially in international affairs.
Hitler had condemned the Versailles Treaty of 1919, shortly after coming to power, but he did not openly and officially denounce the limitations imposed on Germany’s Army, Navy, and Air Force until the spring of 1935, more than two years after he had seized power.
On March 16, 1935, Hitler announced a new decree law which established universal military service to create a peacetime standing army of 12 corps and 36 divisions totaling about half a million soldiers. This was an open repudiation of the military restrictions placed on Germany in the Versailles Treaty of 1919. At this point, German military forces were minimal, and there was no way to defend the country against France, Britain, or Poland. Britain, France and Italy met several weeks later at Stresa in Switzerland. This Stresa front condemned Hitler’s proclamation of German rearmament and insisted on the independence of Austria and continued respect for the postwar Locarno Treaty.
This moment may perhaps be compared to last week, when Trump decided to restrain his hooligan instincts for a few hours and read some banalities off the teleprompter for the edification of international leaders and experts.
On May 21, 1935, Hitler delivered what was perhaps his most famous “peace speech” to the German Reichstag. Notice the frequency with which the Nazi dictator pronounces the word “peace.” Compare his cynical promises to his later deeds. This is lying when it is developed into a consummate art. This is the idiom of Hitler then, and it is the idiom of Trump today.
These siren promises were quickly followed by the unprecedented German rearmament, the reoccupation of the demilitarized Rhineland, the annexation of Austria, the Munich conference of September 1938, the complete absorption of what was left of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the Nazi demands on Poland later that year.
Then as now, the establishment media of the English-speaking world were eager to parrot Hitler’s lies, and Trump’s lies now. Indeed, Trump is a creation of the ruling class media who have given him more than $2 billion of free exposure, most often without any commentary, rebuttal, fact check, or other counterweight.
As a member of the Berlin press corps, William L. Shirer observed as the media betrayed civilization in conformity with their governments’ policies of whitewashing and appeasing Hitler:
Nor was Hitler’s practice of strategic deception limited to words and speeches alone. From the First World War, Hitler had drawn the strategic lesson that Germany was not in a position to attack and defeat all of its neighbors simultaneously. Rather, Hitler wanted to knock them off one by one. Despite traditional hostility between Poles and Germans, Hitler upon seizing power immediately offered Poland a nonaggression pact, which was quickly accepted by the Polish dictator Pilsudski.
The first major international treaty entered into by Nazi Germany was, surprisingly enough, a friendship and nonaggression pact with Poland:
Pilsudski realized that he had become a prime target for aggression as soon as Hitler had seized power in January 1933. Pilsudski’s goal had been to gain time by seeking to ensure that he would not be the first of the Nazi targets. As it turned out, he was not the first, but rather the last before the outbreak of World War II just five years later in 1939.
The other peaceful overture accomplished during the early phase of Hitler’s power was the Anglo German Naval Agreement of June 1935, which established the pattern of appeasement or indirect support given to the Nazis by Britain and France. This agreement encouraged Germany to rearm well above the limits included in the Versailles Treaty:
In retrospect, all these peace overtures, peace, speeches, and charm offensives were revealed to be nothing more than stepping stones towards the next world war. The politicians and statesmen who put any credence in Hitler’s fakery were later reviled as sellouts and appeasers, and with good reason.
After Munich, Hitler said: “I have no further territorial demands in Europe.” But of course he did – he wanted the rest of Bohemia and Moravia, and then he wanted parts of Poland.
If we look at Trump’s foreign policy speech of last week, we see a similar tissue of lies. Experienced international observers must now see the fact that fascism has returned in grand style to the world stage after a 70-year absence, and that political leaders must unite to oppose the threat of a new fascist era which not everyone is morally and intellectually capable of understanding with the necessary speed.