U.S. Leaders Are Hucksters

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Here is Bill Clinton, the U.S. President who served Wall Street by removing all regulations on derivatives-trading and by ending FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act separation of investment-banking from consumer-banking, now telling an audience, that his successor George W. Bush had done this, and that Bush’s successor Barack Obama has unfortunately continued it. He said this on March 21st when explaining why everyone should vote for his wife to undo the ”awful” and “trickle-down” legacy of George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

“If you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that when we were practicing trickle-down economics and no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her because she’s the only person who basically had good ideas, will tell you how she’s going to pay for them, can be commander in chief, and is a proven change maker with Republicans and Democrats and independents alike.”

(Clarification: Where he said “seven years” he meant eight years, and where he said “eight years” he meant seven years, because Bush had 8 years and Obama has thus far had 7.)

The truth is that just before Bill Clinton ended his Presidency he gave Wall Street exactly what it wanted: the ability to gamble with FDIC-insured money, so that Wall Street would be bailed out by taxpayers if their gamblers stopped gambling (‘investing’) and the financial system consequently froze up — which happened in 2008. George W. Bush didn’t make that change, Clinton did. Rotten as Bush was, Clinton was arguably even worse, but he’s now alleging that his wife will undo his own “trickle-down” legacy.

Here is Donald Trump, pandering to the far-right, ethnocentric-Jewish, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), who hate Palestinians and Iran, telling these racist ethnocentric Jews why they should support Trump for President — and opening by telling his suckers that he’s not going to “pander to” them:

“I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That’s what politicians do: all talk, no action. … My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran. … We have rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion and we received absolutely nothing in return. … Iran is a problem in Iraq, a problem in Syria, a problem in Lebanon, a problem in Yemen, and will be a very major problem for Saudi Arabia. Literally every day, Iran provides more and better weapons to their puppet states. … We will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network. Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetrated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the western hemisphere very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach.

Third, at the very least, we must hold Iran accountable by restructuring the terms of the previous deal. … The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel. … When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One. I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately. I have known him for many years and we will be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region.”

On February 17th, Trump told the truth: “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi.” Not Iran, but Israel’s ally the Saud family, who are the chief financial backers of the overthrow-Assad operation (which Israel’s government likewise supports) and of the entire war against Iran and all Shia everywhere — including even Shia in Saudi Arabia itself — and who were the chief funders of Al Qaeda at least until 9/11, and (according to Bill Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton, in private) even as late as 2009, were still “the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” As regards Shiite ‘terrorist’ groups, there’s only one, Hezbollah, and its exclusive focus is against Israel, not against the West. In fact, the title of that State Department cable from her was about ”Terrorist Finance: Action Request for Senior Level Engagement on Terrorism Finance,” not about “Sunni Terrorist Finance,” because, she knows, all  Islamic terrorism, except what’s directed against Israel, is Sunni, none of it is Shiite. So: that cable of hers was sent only to U.S. Embassies in Sunni-run countries, not to the U.S. Embassy in the only Shiite-run country where the U.S. has an Embassy, which is Syria. The U.S. government is quite aware that terrorism (except against Israel) is strictly  Sunni-fundamentalist-Islamic, and that Syria’s ideologically secular, non-sectarian, government, has (like Russia’s secular non-sectarian government) always tried to crush it, never  supported it. The U.S. is allied with the terrorist-financing countries, against Shiite-run countries, because Shiite-run countries (specifically Syria and Iran) are allied with Russia, which the U.S. government aims to isolate and ultimately conquer.

So: even when the hucksters who make it to the top of American politics tell the truth, it’s by accident. Truthfulness isn’t ever their goal; winning and keeping power is.

Americans are taught that things are like that in African countries, and in former Soviet-bloc countries, but not that this is the way America itself is; to say a thing like this here is verboten  in the ‘respectable’ ‘news’ media. It’s not publishable. It’s American samizdat. Any major news-medium that would publish it would be subject to severe sanctions; people would be fired. They might even be treated worse — like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange — isolated, smeared, and possibly imprisoned. It destroys careers of the few authentic journalists. They’re supposed to be propagandists, instead. Even to call oneself a ‘journalist’ here is supposed to be  a lie. There’s virtually no remaining market for real journalism in the United States. The major advertisers won’t patronize it, and the government-funded ‘news’ media also don’t allow it. So: certain types of truth are simply not publishable here.

Huckster-politicians and their friends just thrive in such an environment. Like U.S. President Obama himself says, “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” All other  nations are ‘dispensable.’ That’s something which Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton, might equally say. But, of course, none of them would be “pandering.” They don’t do that — just ask them, and they’ll tell you they don’t (like Trump just did).


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.