"As Trump rejects US election, Biden signals continued regime change abroad"
By Aaron Maté, Push Back / GRAYZONE (November 13, 2020)
As Trump rejects US election, Biden signals continued regime change abroad
With Trump rejecting the US election outcome and the Biden team advocating continued regime change abroad, Max Blumenthal on US hegemony coming home to roost.
As President Trump refuses to concede over baseless allegations of widespread fraud, the Biden team has sent signals that there will be little to no transition away from US regime change abroad. The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal discusses Trump’s rejection of democracy at home, and the records of the likely Biden cabinet members who have adopted the same attitude to governments around the world.
Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of The Management of Savagery.
[0:05] Aaron Maté: "Welcome to pushback. I'm Aaron Maté. Joining me is Max Blumenthal, editor of The GrayZone, author of many books, including The Management of Savagery. Max, Hello. So, a lot to discuss in the aftermath of the election. You have Trump, refusing to concede in making some key personnel moves. Also some major personnel moves with the Biden transition that tell us what is to come. Let's talk first about Trump. You had Mike Pompeo joining him in refusing to concede, Pompeo saying there will be a smooth transition to the second Trump term."
[shows video clip of Secretary Pompeo's remarks]
Aaron Maté: "What is your reaction to what Trump is doing right now and the anxiety that is growing on the liberal side of a coup attempt essentially."
[1:12] Max Blumenthal: "Well, I'm not terribly shocked by Trump's behavior and I'll explain why, but Pompeo's comments during a State Department briefing which were completely... I mean, his comments were not necessarily a response to a direct question and it seemed like something he had scripted and was determined to say: that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. [These comments] were somewhat remarkable. They showed how much the Republican party belongs to Donald Trump. How important Donald Trump's blessing is to Mike Pompeo's future political ambitions which could be a 2024 presidential run. But also how U.S. elections have actually polarized the country and not necessarily been particularly good for whatever's left of U.S. democracy. And that has a lot to do with the kind of American exceptionalist and imperialist mentality embodied by figures like Mike Pompeo and his predecessor Nikki Haley [US UN Ambassador] and their predecessors from the Democratic party.
[2:28] "Mike Pompeo is currently denouncing Venezuela's election before it's even held, calling it fraudulent, before the election is even held and has put pressure on opposition parties not to participate in order to delegitimize the democratic instutions of Venezuela. This was precisely, this is for the national assembly elections coming up this December. This is precisely what this State Department under Nikky Haley did in 2018 in Venezuela. The year before Nikki Haley's State Department recognized an election clearly stolen by Juan Orlando Hernandez, the right-wing neo-liberal leader of Honduras. Even the Organization of American States concluded that there were severe voter irregularities. But the US has a hand-picked figure to lead Honduras who represents the legacy ofthe coup that was initiated in 200i and blessed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And, of course, we have Bolivia last year where Mike Pompeo's State Department alleged fraud when no such fraud existed and helped launch a coup there.
[3:43] "So you have the State Department under Mike Pompeo basically carrying out the same kind of undemocratic operation that Donald Trump is accused of doing domestically in the US. It's obvious that Donald Trump's promise to bring the wars home has been fulfilled and that these are chickens coming home to roost. And it's not just Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley or Donald Trump, as I mentioned. Before there was a Trump administration the Obama administration under Hillary Clinton and then John Kerry participated in several coups, or regime change operations. I mentioned Honduras. Libya. They attempted a dirty war in Syria and failed there. Ukraine. the United States under the State Department of John Kerry overthrew a democratically elected leader in Ukraine and called it a revolution of dignity."
[4:40] "So there's a long record of U.S. administrations delegitimizing democracy in other countries through regime-change operations which deliberately polarize societies abroad. They do so by design. And they demonize the leaders of those countries, whether they are elected democratically or not, in order to get their way."
[5:00] "All of these tactics are being put on display at home. So, as I've said, they may be deeply undemocratic -- Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump's behavior appears to be pretty undemocratic because they don't seem to have the votes to allege fraud -- but it is distinctly American. And we have to understand why Donald Trump is doing this. I think he's doing this as a response to what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their supporters proceeded to do to him once he was democratically elected, which was to deligitmize his election through the narrative and the intelligence intrigue of Russia-gate, which obviously alleged that Donald Trump was actually the product of Russian meddling and Russian collusion. They burdened his administration and his first four years -- probably his last four years -- with non-stop threats of prosecution. Then there was an impeachment hearing for failing to arm the Ukrainian military which was the product and the legacy of the regime-change operation -- the deeply undemocratic regime change operation -- that the Obama administration ran in Ukraine."
[6:15] "So, these zero-sum tactics and delegitimization of democratic institutions, they didn't start with Donald Trump. They were escalated, these tactics, were really brought into domestic U.S. life by the Obama administration's former officials, and especially Hillary Clinton. And Donald Trump is now seeking revenge in an extremely petty fashion. And I think these kinds of politics are here to stay, this zero-sum game where elections are actually seen, and politics itself, is seen as kind of a permanent regime-change operation with different factions of the establishment vying for power like ruthless mafias."
[6:59] Aaron Maté: "And it's possible that Trump's current personnel changes: the firing of Mark Esper; there's rumors he wants to get rid of Gina Haspel at CIA. It's possible that that plays into this. Haspel, reportedly, has been resisting the declassification of some intelligence that Trump believes would clear him or help clear him on Russia and show even more that that investigation was a fraud. Although, the problem with Trump is that -- I don't want to make assumptions because for example, what if firing Esper is really a prelude to taking some even more aggressive stance towards Iran -- though it's hard to say. But there are things happening that show that perhaps that battle between Trump and the national security state via Russiagate is still ongoing with his personnel changes after the election."
[7:50] Max Blumenthal: "Yeah, it reminds me of this scene in the comedy City Slickers where Billy Chrystal's character says to the grizzed old cowboy, Jack Palance's character: 'It's a good thing nobody died today." And Jack Palance looks out into the distance and says: 'Day ain't over yet.' You know, Donald Trump losing the election with the pending renewal of the JCPOA, the Iran deal will increase by an enormous degree the pressure on Donald Trump from Netanyahu and his friends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as well as the domestic Israel lobby that helped elect him in the first place -- represented by Sheldon Adelson who contributed something like 150 million dollars to Republican Senate and Congressional candidates."