NEW YORK, NY – Western elites, those that are widely acknowledged as responsible for the narrative governing U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War are a motley assortment of liberals. Namely such personalities as Anne Applebaum, an historian and commentator, who spent most of her adult life in Poland as the wife of the prominent Polish politician, Radoslaw Sikorsky. Not to mention, Victoria Nuland, who is an ever-present member of democratic state departments. Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan, who is better known as a neo conservative but voted against Trump in the last two elections. Also on the left side of the ledger are the Clinton’s, and at the current moment the most important of all, Biden, and many of his advisors such as Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. A special mention also has to be given to George Soros.
On the right side of the ledger would be both Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney. Additionally, Bill Kristol, who is the son of the late Irving Kristol, widely considered the founder of the neocon movement. There are many other candidate names, the list could go on and on.
Incidentally, several things are important about the group. They are far more important than any president in regard to setting the agenda for the United States. Indeed, the only president, since 1990, who did not conform nearly completely to the narrative created by American elites was Trump.
The argument made in this article sheds light on the fact that today’s elites are at least as dangerous as Curtis Lemay and others in the early 1960’s. Which may lead you to contemplate, are we arguing that Trump stands out as a white knight that the elites prevented from saving us?
No, that is not what we are saying: Trump is sui generis – he is unlike today’s elites and unlike any other leader in this country’s history- but by no means less dangerous. How dangerous? Unfortunately, you cannot rerun history, but our guess is that it would be a question of picking your poison.
While there are a lot of differences among the members, they all agree on one critical point – unipolarity, meaning that the United States should set the framework for how the entire world is governed. And based on this uniting principle, I am sure you can add other names to the list such as Nancy Pelosi, Lindsay Graham, and Mark Rubio.
How strong are these beliefs? As I have argued before, Presidents Clinton and Biden are in my opinion most responsible for the current proxy war with Russia. Still George Bush, the second Bush to occupy the White House along with his VP Dick Cheney were perhaps the most unsparing believers in United States hegemony.
In describing Bush’s philosophy, writer Daniel Lieberfeld in an article published in 2005 in the International Journal of Peace Studies stated:
“Unipolar dominance after the Soviet Union’s collapse created incentives for the U.S. to deemphasize collective security and to rely more heavily on its own military: Given unrivaled U.S. power, realist theory predicts that any U.S. leader would view multilateral institutions as more of a hindrance than a help…. the inevitability of military competition and war among sovereign states gains credence from the fact that, despite changes in leadership and despite the collapse of its main rival, the U.S. did not diminish its military spending after the end of the Cold war. Rather, the Clinton administration pursued an arms buildup so that the U.S. militarily outspent any combination of potential rivals and, in addition, bombed Serbia without U.N. authorization. The Bush administration has been forthright about its goal of global hegemony—a power so complete that challenging it becomes nearly inconceivable.”
“America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge.” Given this strategic objective, overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s government can be understood as an effort to enhance U.S. reputational and symbolic power beyond challenge…..”
I have bolded the part in which Bush is directly quoted. That quote plus the other comments demonstrate the religious fervor associated with American hegemony. That fervor remains alive today and if anything is perhaps even more intense.
The best illustration is the Ukraine war. This is clearly a fight that the Western elite wanted and provoked, as evidenced by the Merkel interview. It was hardly a secret that Putin’s one undeniable red line was Ukraine that was part of NATO. Jeffery Sachs and many other leading lights such as George Keenan and John Matlack had pointed out in congressional hearings in the late 1990’s that the expansion of NATO to the Russian border was a terrible mistake. John Matlack, for example, who had been President Kennedy’s ambassador to the Soviet Union said it would create the same terrifying situation the United States encountered when nuclear warheads were discovered in Cuba.
At that time, a civilian president kept the military in check. But in today’s world it is the civilians that are calling the shots while the military’s only assignment is to spend a budget now approaching a trillion dollars a year.
How many months ago did the Secretary of Defense call his Russian counterpart and suggest discussing a cease fire? If you can’t remember it’s because the story was buried by the associated press. Aside from a leaked phone call, by and large Secretary Austin has been a good soldier, sticking very closely to the administration’s propaganda.
And then there is General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and the top military officer in the government. The general has an unfortunate penchant for telling the truth and then being forced to walk it back. It was Milley who rightfully stated that China’s hypersonic missile which orbited the earth and then landed within a few miles of its target was a Sputnik moment. It was Russia’s launching of Sputnik in the late 50’s that led to our recreating our education system and orienting our government research toward technology. It was Sputnik that led to our ascendancy in space which culminated with several moon landings. It is chilling that hypersonic missiles, leadership in supercomputers, the most advanced quantum research program are all candidates for Sputnik moments – candidates that we just cannot face. But denial can only take you so far as a defense mechanism. Sooner or later denial and reality will clash in a way that either leads to cooperation or complete destruction. A total defeat in Ukraine is a strong candidate for something that will be hard if not impossible to deny.
While some of these elites have held political office, others have never had a direct role in the White House or Congress. If you are curious how individuals without political office can have such a profound effect it largely comes from their role in organizations, whose funding is a result of neocon lobbying efforts. Members often testify before congress. The presence before congressional committees and the presence of past government officials on their boards give prestige to their various publications, which mostly present narratives justifying neocon policy objectives.
One example would be the Brookings Institute, another would be the Council of Foreign Relations, which publishes the bi-monthly Foreign Affairs. There are also organizations which do directly affect change as well as publish blogs and foreign policy related publications.
Another example would be the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is alleged to have had direct roles in myriad events such as the killing of Muslims in Myanmar to the riots in Hong Kong. The Open Society Institutions is actively involved in virtually every major event which could herald the replacement of a strong man by an “open” form of government. While the aim of these world elites is superficially changing governments from authoritarian to democratic. And that would be a noble aim, but as I have explained in the case of Ukraine, the pursuit of democratic ideals is a sham, a cover story for pursuing American hegemony.