In the instantly infamous anonymous op-ed published in the Sept. 6 New York Times, “The Quiet Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, the Deep State found its voice. Anyone who doubted its existence can set their doubts aside. The op-ed is the Deep State’s equivalent of the burning bush and the voice proclaiming, “I am.”
The core of the op ed is found in its first and second paragraphs:
. . . many of the senior officials in his own (President Trump’s) administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda. . .
I would know. I am one of them.
The op-ed contains both less and more than meets the eye. It may shock the average American to think that members of a President’s own administration would work against his agenda, but anyone who has served in Washington knows it happens all the time. And not only to Presidents; Senators, Congressmen, Cabinet members, military commanders, anyone senior enough to have a staff also has staffers with their own agendas. They push those agendas when and as they can, including when they conflict with the agenda of the person they serve. It is so common it has become a rule of institutional behavior, known as Rankovic’s Law: It is easier for the subordinate to control the superior than for the superior to control the subordinate. The op-ed’s boast that there is an organized faction in President Trump’s administration working against parts of his agenda goes a bit beyond the norm, but it has certainly been seen before.
Also unsurprising is the op-ed’s revelation that this faction is attempting to promote orthodox Republican Establishment policies such as deregulation, tax cuts, and more money for the Pentagon as opposed to the populist policies that got President Trump elected. Much of what goes on in Washington is an effort to subvert the popular will. Those who can do so successfully on behalf of monied interests often get very rich.
This brings us to what the op-ed reveals that is surprising; surprising not because we have not previously suspected it but because the Deep State now feels confident enough to say it openly: the Deep State wants international conflict. The op-ed includes a bald-faced declaration to that effect:
Take foreign policy: in public and private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un . . .
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly. . .
The op-ed goes on to talk approvingly about how the Deep State has punished Russia against the President’s wishes, to the point of boasting about it:
He (President Trump) complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country . . .
But his national security team knew better – such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
Here is the significance of the op-ed, not in what it reveals about President Trump but what it says about the Deep State itself, namely that it thrives on unnecessary and strategically counterproductive international conflicts. Those conflicts justify the trillion dollar “national security” budget off which the Deep State feeds, they provide the arenas in which the “national security team” builds its careers and power and they distract the public from our sorry military performance against the real threat, the threat of Fourth Generation war and the entities that wage it. They are, in short, bread for the Establishment and circuses for the citizens.
The op-ed seeks to paint a picture of a valiant band of prudent senior officials holding a dangerous, half-mad President in check. What it actually portrays is a corrupt bunch of interests that feed off the status quo sabotaging a President who seeks to improve relations with Russia and North Korea, avoid unnecessary wars (except possibly with Iran), and put America first. The op-ed should, as it intends, leave Americans scared–scared not of a maniac in the White House, but of a Deep State so confident of its own power and invulnerability that it can go public with the truth it has previously tried to hide: the Deep State, not the people elected to the office, runs the country.
Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.