Home | About | Donate

The Candidate Our Foreign Policy Deserves


The Candidate Our Foreign Policy Deserves

John Feffer

It’s often said that, in democracies, we get the leaders that we deserve. In the current slugfest masquerading as a presidential race, it looks as though we’re getting the leader that our foreign policy deserves. The results of the first round of the 2016 presidential election in Iowa, with narrow victories by Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, only underscores this point.

Let me explain.


We need to go back to the Clinton administration when the war of moral righteousness was let out of Pandora's box and put it back. There is no way you can deliver morality with bombs and drone assassination, whose morallity is the righteous one anyway? This was nothing more than to allow future wars for property and profit under the guise of morality. It was the manufacturing of consent allowing war in Iraq, Libya, Syria and most likely Iran in future. We have murdered peace.


Another quintessential "blame the victim" sermon.

There's a Biblical component to this form of indictment since it sets forth to lay blame upon those who were long-deceived as if they were the authors of the deception.

Mr. Feffer offers this:

"No American executive will think of challenging the national security state without a comparable shift in public opinion. Such a shift would require a sea change in the way Americans think of themselves: a change in culture before a change in policy.

"In the meantime, we’ll be stuck with the president we deserve, and more importantly, the one our foreign policy deserves. Our foreign policy is aggressive, parochial, and hard-hearted."

IF he also added the role played by Christian Fundamentalism in NORMALIZING war under the guise of a holy battle between countering religious orders; or if he spoke about the role Hollywood plays in sexing up war and men who use guns without any hesitation; or the capture of mainstream media to traffic in ideological frames that make the missions of the Military Industrial Complex seem sane, if not inevitable... THEN, he could begin to make the case he otherwise asserts.

From the moment a young boy enters school, he's shamed if he doesn't show an aggressive capacity to fight back. And what sport is more revered than football? It's a sport based on "slaughtering" the enemy.

Grown men, often the head honchos of big business enterprises remain glued to the football field. Some of them own teams.

There is a VERY strong relationship between the "masculine coming of age rites" in America and football; and football-in its language of winning, its team orientation, its training in following orders--is the NATURAL segue-way into the military. Curiously enough, much in the way of military verbiage runs parallel to the language used in football.

Feffer makes no mention of 911 or how profoundly the view of militarists came to dominate virtually all sectors of U.S. media.

He also makes no mention of the kind of $ needed to purchase air & face time--necessary components of any successful political bid.

With PAC money behind those candidates who will undoubtedly support U.S. corporate interests, and many of these corporate interests reliant upon U.S. martial muscle in order to "successfully" exploit the resources of foreign lands, Mr. Feffer has left out another central ingredient in the vetting of candidates.

So, let's see:

By eliminating the role played by a Pentagon-fueled media propagandized FOR war; and leaving out the role of the Fundamentalist Christian church in playing cheerleader for "holy war,"; and leaving out the role of Big Money in vetting candidates; and the social and cultural conditioning that ties macho heroism to the very definition of manhood (and also, patriotism)... what comes into place he THEN says represents what the public deserves.

Also reflective of a blame-the-victim superficial analysis is the casual way that Feffer dismisses Bernie Sanders and ties all Americans to Trump's Neanderthal bluster (which IS an accurate depiction of the man and his fans) and Hillary's "out-men at the Mars' rules game" hawkish stances.

An essay like this reinforces the status quo. It blames citizens for the outcome that far larger forces shape... all the while keeping those shaping forces entirely out of the discussion.

Institute of Policy Studies in Washington... I wonder who might fund that "think tank" since based on an article of this nature, it grants a pass to all of the shaping institutions that have given war primacy in this land... and in spite of evidence ranging from the Piketty Study (where $ goes), and The Supreme Court's disastrous "Citizens United" (that big $ purchases candidates and through them, policy), and the Page and Gilens Study (that virtually NOTHING the public supports ends up made into current policy), still asserts that it's the people who get what they deserve.

Feffer, you're another Calvinist dressing up your case in Liberal euphemisms.


I think our presidential election system has evolved into being just one big PSYOP wherein citizens are manipulated over the course of a year or two so that they 'willingly' endorse one of the two candidates who they know in advance will bomb and drone-kill in other nations.

The idea is to get you 'invested' in an Obama or a Sanders, so that when the inevitable military aggression is committed, you are an accomplice, since the candidate said in advance he would continue the drone program and smash ISIS.

As an accomplice, you will, like the criminal, go to great lengths to rationalize the crime.

And certainly, you will not try to bring any kind of justice.


The following IS accurate and it explains not that a public gets what it deserves, but the power of today's military industrial complex:

'U.S. foreign policy is predicated on violence. We can measure this violence in a variety of ways:

"The United States spends over $600 billion on the military. That’s three times more than what China spends. That’s also as much as the next seven spenders combined.

"The U.S. military conducted operations in 147 countries in 2015.

"The Obama administration is still directly engaged in active wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

"Outside these war zones, the United States engages in drone attacks and targeted assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia that have killed nearly 2,500 people since Obama took office.

"The United States remains the leading arms merchant in the world. It controls roughly half the market. In 2014 alone, it boosted sales by 35 percent.

"The United States has 7,200 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. It is spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years on modernizing a force that President Obama, in a celebrated speech in Prague in 2009, pledged to eliminate (though obviously not in the next 30 years)."

The primacy of the MIC hardly proves that U.S citizens get the govt. or policies they deserve. It represents what power--unaccountable TO citizens--will do in their name.

Feffer forgot what Eisenhower said about the growing influence of the Military Industrial Complex.

He apparently has neither read "Dark Money," nor anything by Neil Lofgren on "The Deep State," neither the material of Janine Wedel on "The Shadow Elite." I suppose he's clueless to the underground network of nefarious interests set into motion by Allen Dulles and how it is THIS group that is responsible for assassinations both here and abroad.

Pushing a frame that allots responsibility to those left outside of decision-making circles is similar to the media argument that pretends that Israel and Palestine are two co-equal sides in a conflict.

If TIPP and TPP manage to pass into law, Feffer will no doubt blame citizens for that, too... even though these documents have been kept in the dark and subjected to a Democracy-busting protocol known as "fast track."


The only candidate who might have tried to remake US foreign policy was Rand Paul and he has now dropped out. On foreign policy the voters appear to trust the Republicans more than the Democrats and the Republicans often call the Democrats weak which has led the Democrats to adopt a foreign policy that does not appear weak. Unless the public changes its view what we really have is two parties trying to avoid the label of weakness.


I think Bernie would like to be more anti-defense spending than he says. In the past, like nearly ten years ago, he has said on Thom Hartmann's program that the defense budget deserved major cuts and a lot of overseas bases should be closed. However, if he is pulling Hillary to the left domestically, then she is pulling him to the right on defense. Am I happy that he has quit calling for the major cuts in defense spending I think we must make? No. Do I think that his actual positions would change once in the Presidency? Quite possibly, certainly more progressively than I think Hillary ever would. In fact, I think Hillary becomes more hawkish if she becomes POTUS, as beholden as she would be to the MIC.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.