In an opinion piece on the 11th of October, 2019, a Washington Post headline read, “U.S. foreign policy is for sale. Who else is buying?” The Washington Post was reporting on the Congressional testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine, who was sacked and told to go home “on the next plane” because “her campaign against corruption in Ukraine … bothered two men, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, who were clients of Rudolph W. Giuliani, a friend of President Trump as well as the former mayor of New York.” The former ambassador to Ukraine testified that she was “incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”
The Washington Post concluded by saying, “How sure are we that there were no private interests at stake when Trump promised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan he could invade northern Syria? Can we be certain there are no private interests shaping the United States’ relationship with Russia or Saudi Arabia? The answer is no, no and no. This is the most corrupt White House in modern U.S. history, and we cannot be sure of anything at all.”
Actually, we can be very sure of one thing: US foreign policy and every other policy will be entirely at the service of private financial interests! While the US is an ideological state, and its constitution and systems of governance are framed to uphold that ideology, democracy is subverted every time by capitalism, and financial interests inevitably outweigh so-called ‘high ideals.’ Lip service is paid to the ideals, and systems and procedures have been legislated to curb some of the excesses of capitalism, such as hegemonic commercial monopoly, which if unchecked would allow a single company from controlling the whole economy. The seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, warned many times about the danger of banks and corporations subverting government. He complained in 1832 that “The rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes … to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful.”
This concern is much repeated in historical discourse, and the pervasive sense amongst Americans, that their government has been subverted by dark forces or a ‘deep state,’ is often played upon, not least by the populist rants of the current president. Trump said at his inauguration:
“Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.
Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”
So he too, Like the 7th president of the United States, and others since, complained that the rich elites were taking power for themselves at the expense of the people. As he took office he promised: “That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.” He promised that he would “drain the swamp,” but his administration has become the mother of all swamps. Impeachment proceedings are being drawn up against him, but it will be a shame if he will be remembered for his exceptional behavior and his brazen personality, because in reality his administration has been very commonplace. Calling for freedom and promising a new and great America, while delivering the same corruption where the wealth of nations is a prize for his friends and associates. At least he has taken the mask off and exposed the reality of capitalism more clearly.
Dr. Abdullah Robin