The Wrong Kind of Unity Against Trump

As the New Year dawned, Donald Trump’s regime appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

The billionaire’s tariffs against China and threats to fire the head of the Federal Reserve Bank sent the stock market into a panic. Trump then shut down the government over his demand for a racist border wall and spent his holiday home alone in the White House, munching on burgers and binge-watching Fox News.

The political establishment, which had until recently tolerated Trump’s impulsive statements and erratic policy swings, decisively turned against him over his surprise announcement to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and half of the 14,000 occupying Afghanistan.

Everyone from the generals in his cabinet to the state bureaucracy, the corporate media and both the Republican and Democratic Parties have denounced Trump’s withdrawal as nothing less than the abandonment of U.S. imperialism’s bipartisan strategy to defend global capitalism through a system of alliances against terrorism, so-called rogue states, and great-power rivals.

Trump’s decision, while made in haste and reportedly over a phone call with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, isn’t the accident it has sometimes been portrayed as, but a campaign promise that flows from his “America First” nationalist strategy to put U.S. interests before all else, even if that means disrupting alliances and cutting deals with rivals.

The establishment’s opposition to his decision — and, indeed,…

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