For some time in various blogs but more importantly in interviews dating back some time (almost a decade now) I've been advancing the hypothesis that there is massive "factional infighting" going on in the deep state(s) of the West, and particularly in the USA. My position has been rather simple (and some would say, simplistic), namely, that Mr. Globaloney was essentially like the Mafia, with various dons representing various families and interests, all sitting around their conference tables sipping brandy, smoking cigars, and figuring out how to make more money and dominate the world, while on the streets their lackeys were shooting at each other. In other words, far from viewing Mr. Globaloney as a monolithic, all-encompassing and omni-competent monolithic conspiracy, it had its own internal fissures and fractures along factional lines, and that as it grew closer and closer to its goal of eradicating nation-states, that factional infighting would only increase as it approached its goal, for one faction, and one faction alone, could be the "winner" in the global domination game. Or to put it country simple: globalism is a self-defeating enterprise.
Part of my rationale for this view was the fact that beginning around 2005-2010, it became clear that some of these factions had realized that their globaloneyism wasn't panning out quite as planned, and that there were serious risks to their power base (i.e., North America), and that they would eventually have to "reshore" industry into that base. Trump, on this view, wasn't so much a "fluke" as an inevitability; the choice between Darth Hillary and Trump was a choice between very different deep state factions and agendas.
Now, however, it seems that others have finally noticed this factionalism and infighting, and in The Financial Times, no less, in an important article by Alastair Crooke reproduced over at Zero Hedge (this story was brought to my attention by A.F.; many thanks!):
There are many crucial points in this article, but for me, the main one was this:
Martin Wolf was first off, with a piece dramatically headlined: The looming 100-year, US-China Conflict. No ‘mere’ trade war, he implied, but a full-spectrum struggle.
Then his FT colleague Edward Luce, pointed out that Wolf’s “argument is more nuanced than the headline. Having spent part of this week among leading policymakers and thinkers at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado,” Luce writes, “I am inclined to think Martin was not exaggerating. The speed with which US political leaders of all stripes have united behind the idea of a ‘new cold war’ is something that takes my breath away. Eighteen months ago the phrase was dismissed as fringe scaremongering. Today it is consensus.”
But behind this "consensus" there's another problem, and it's that factional infighting:
The two FT correspondents effectively were signalling – in their separate articles – that the US is entering on a momentous and hazardous transformation. Further, it would seem that America’s élite is being fractured into balkanised enclaves that are not communicating with one another – nor wanting to communicate with each other. Rather, it is another conflict between deadly rivals.
One such orientation insists on a renewal of the Cold War to sustain and renew that supersized military-security complex, which accounts for more than half of America’s GDP. Another élite demands that US dollar global hegemony be preserved. Another orientation of the Deep State is disgusted at the contagion of sexual decadence and corruption that has wormed its way into American governance – and truly hopes that Trump will ‘drain the swamp’. And yet another, which sees DC’s now explicit amorality as risking the loss of America’s global standing and leadership – wants to see a return of traditional American mores – a ‘moral rearmament’, as it were. (And then there are the deplorables, who simply want that America should attend to its own internal refurbishment.)
But all these divided Deep State factions believe that belligerence can work.
However, the more these fractured, rival US élite factions with their moneyed and comfortable lifestyles, cloister themselves in their enclaves, certain in their separate views about how America can retain its global supremacy, the less likely it is that they will understand the very real impact of their collective belligerence on the outside world. Like any cosseted élite, they have an exaggerated sense of their entitlement – and their impunity.
These élite factions – for all their internal rivalry – however seem to have coalesced around a singularity of talking and thinking that allows the dominant classes to substitute for the reality of an America subject to severe stress and strain – the fable of a hegemon which still can elect which non-compliant governments and peoples to bully and remove from the global map. Their rhetoric alone is curdling the atmospherics in the non-West. (Italicized emphasis added, boldface emphasis in the original)
Being a proud member of "the deplorables," I look at this and see a fundamental problem, which Crooke's article also points out: with the deep factional divisions reflecting very different primary objectives and agendas, there is no unity of vision or purpose and hence no real ability to coalesce around a grand strategy, which mere "belligerence" is not. A real (and rational) strategy would be to figure out how to expand the economy such that the bloated military-industrial complex no longer accounts for half of the USA's gross domestic product, and hence rein in its influence over ever aspect of policy formation. To allow things to continue along the same lines as they developed under Eisenhower is a recipe for disaster, not a strategy, for sooner or later those global hegemonic empires always contrive an enemy, and a war to get rid of that enemy. Think of Britain's pre-World War One maneuverings to encircle Germany, and then to wage war against it.
This deep factional infighting creates a situation in which it is increasingly difficult for foreign nations to assess the USA's direction, as powerful bureaucrats can, and do, institute policy to influence the nation. Consider the implications of Crooke's warning here:
The leader of any nation is never sovereign. He or she sits atop a pyramid of quarrelling princelings (Deep State princelings, in this instance), who have their own interests and agenda. Trump is not immune to their machinations. One obvious example being Mr Bolton’s successful gambit in persuading the Brits to seize the Grace I tanker off Gibraltar. At a stroke, Bolton escalated the conflict with Iran (‘increased the pressure’ on Iran, as Bolton would probably term it); put the UK at the forefront of America’s ‘war’ with Iran; divided the JCPOA signatories, and embarrassed the EU. He is a canny ‘operator’ – no doubt about it.
And this is the point: these princelings can initiate actions (including false flags) that drive events to their agenda; that can corner a President. And that is presuming that the President is somehow immune to a great ‘switch in mood’ among his own lieutenants (even if that consensus is nothing more than a fable that belligerency succeeds). But is it safe to assume Trump is immune to the general ‘mood’ amongst the varied élites? Do not his recent glib comments about Afghanistan and Iran suggest that he might leaning towards the new belligerency? Martin Wolf concluded his FT piece by suggesting the shift in the US suggests we may be witnessing a stumbling towards a century of conflict. But in the case of Iran, any mis-move could result in something more immediate – and uncontained.
In other words, each of those factions can initiate policy, and the possibility arises that they could each initiate some mutually contradictory policies via false flags at the same time. By the same token, each can withhold crucial information, and as gatekeepers to the Executive, can pretend to act with executive approval to initiate a policy, and then turn around and present the Executive with a fait accompli. Consider only the maneuverings of some of these factions first under Obama, and now under Trump, to force the executive into military actions in the Middle East, which both men, at least so far, had the good sense to avoid. If that sounds familiar, it should, because they tried the same thing under Kennedy during the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile crises. And that, of course, may be the real unspoken lesson here, for Kennedy managed to coalesce those feuding factions into opposition to him, and he paid for it with his life, and the rest of the century was spent in conflicts.
See you on the flip side...