Super Tuesday aftermath: Can the Neocons Trump Donald?

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting as former rival candidate Governor Chris Christie (L) and his son Eric (R) look on during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida March 1, 2016.  © Scott Audette
The results of Super Tuesday, the day in which 11 US States held primaries, saw Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton strengthen their positions as front-runners in the race for the Republic and Democratic Party nominations.

Trump and Clinton each won seven states. For the Republicans, Ted Cruz won his home state of Texas and Oklahoma, while Marco Rubio won Minnesota, his first state of the campaign. For the Democrats, four states were won by the socialist challenger Bernie Sanders.

Nothing has been decided by Tuesday’s results and important contests still lie ahead.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that both Trump and Clinton are going to be hard to peg back. In racing terms they’ve got a handy lead, both are jumping well and the challengers are already coming off the bridle. But of course, as in horse racing, no one’s won until the finishing line is passed. Unexpected falls can happen anywhere. And who's that we see through our field glasses, placing some stones and rocks in the path of Trump to try and get him to fall. Why it's the Neocons!

The war hawks of the Republican Party would like us to believe they are sensitive individuals who are shocked by Trump’s ‘extremism’ - and that they care deeply about immigrants, anti-racist causes and feminism. Don‘t be fooled. As ever, for the ‘We've got to invade Iraq because Saddam's got WMDs' brigade, its all about foreign policy and in particular making sure that the policy of Regime Change and Endless War, euphemistically called ‘interventionism’ continues. The Neocon faction are worried that Trump, a right-wing populist who prefers to kick ISIS butt rather than topple the secular Assad, and who has denounced the Iraq war, is a threat to their cause.

In a new article entitled ‘NeoConservatives declare war on Donald Trump’, Zaid Jilani of The Intercept
details the hawks’ campaign. Jilani notes that the ‘Emergency Committee for Israel’ - an organization which has ‘serial war propagandist’ and uber Neocon Bill Kristol a board member, paid for a ‘Trump Loves Dictators’ advertisement last weekend. Labeling opponents of neoconservative foreign policy as ‘lovers of dictators’ is of course a regular smear which is deployed by the war lobby. The smear, we must note was never used against a certain Tony Blair.

The excellent Glenn Greenwald, the Intercept’s co-founding editor and a journalist who always keeps his eye on the ball, has been chronicling how leading Neocons are coming out openly in support of Hillary Clinton. He’s also been highlighting the hypocrisy of Republican establishment figures who claimed to be shocked by Trump’s tactics and statements.

To British observers, it probably all seems rather familiar. That’s because the same thing happened to Jeremy Corbyn, during his successful campaign to become the Labour party leader last summer- a campaign which like Trump‘s was given no, or very little chance of success by members of the neocon punditocracy.

Of course, Jez and Donald, are, politically speaking, poles apart. Corbyn is a left-wing democratic socialist who rides a bicycle, reads Oscar Wilde and supports immigration; Trump a right-wing nationalist and real estate billionaire who owns golf courses and who wants to build a border wall to keep immigrants out. But in their own way, its important to understand that both men pose a threat - from the left and the right - to the entitled, undemocratic serial warmongering elites of their own parties.

The Republican Party, which used to have a strong isolationist/or foreign policy realist faction, has been captured by Neocons. It was a similar story with the British Labour Party, under Tony Blair, the Bomber of Belgrade and Baghdad.

The success of both Corbyn and Trump can be explained by the way that grassroot activists and supporters of the Labour Party and the Republicans have turned their backs on the party’s discredited Establishments. A similar thing has happened in the Democrats too, of course, with the strong showing of Bernie Sanders, who is pushing Hillary Clinton much closer than 'experts' predicted. "It is interesting that in both (US) political parties the candidates that are doing well are outsider candidates. People in both parties are repudiating their party leadership," says the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein.

Labour party members who voted for Corbyn in 2015 wanted the party to return to make a clean break with Blairism and return its democratic socialist roots. While Republicans who vote Trump in 2016 clearly want radical change too.

"Trump is speaking straight to ordinary Americans, not through the usual media/liberal filter. He is making sense to a lot of people. They like his absence of hypocrisy and the fact that he’s prepared to say George W. Bush committed a war crime in invading Iraq… Apart from his gross views on immigration - though no more gross in essence than, say, David Cameron's - he is not planning to invade anywhere," says the left-wing, award-winning anti-war journalist John Pilger.

While Corbyn and Trump have swept all before them as ‘Outsiders’, the ‘Insider’ candidates promoted by the Establishment elites in the UK and the US have fared absymally. In the Labour Party leadership election, the Blairites first choice, Liz Kendall got a risible 4.5 percent of the vote.
While Marco Rubio, the man Neocons would love to have seen get the Republican nomination, has won just one primary. Jeb Bush, brother of the warmonger Dubya, has already dropped out of the race.

Like spoiled children who haven't got their way neocons now bawl that the Republican Party is in ‘crisis’. The hardcore extremists who pushed for the illegal Iraq war, who have pushed tirelessly for regime change in Syria, and who cheer-leadered for the assault on Libya in 2011, are now concerned that an ’extremist’ could be the Republican’s Presidential candidate. Whoever said that the age of satire was dead!

In fact, whatever one thinks of him (and for the record, if I were an American my vote would be for either Bernie Sanders or the Green Party’s Jill Stein), Trump has clearly brought many people into the Republican fold.

Exactly the same talk of a party in ‘crisis’ occurred in Britain after the victory of the outsider Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour Party was finished, Neocon and faux-left commentators told us, because members had voted in a man who like Trump, had popular appeal!

Of course when Neocons tells us a party is in ‘crisis’, what it really means is that their influence in that party has been reduced. A ‘crisis’ for them is most certainly not a ‘crisis’ for us, dear reader. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

In the weeks ahead, we can expect a plethora of Op-ed pieces in the American media warning us that the Republicans must ditch the 'divisive' Trump to 'save the party' and to 'save America'. There’ll be calls for either Cruz or Rubio to stand down to increase the chances of defeating the Dreadful Donald. If that fails (as it's likely to given the hostility between Cruz and Rubio and their camps) there will be calls for a ‘unifying figure’ of the right to stand against Trump. The 'unifying figure' won’t win, but they would be likely to split the conservative vote and make Hillary Clinton - provided she does indeed secure the Democratic nomination - a shoe-in.

For the Neocons no other issue matters, but that of making sure a reliable warmonger becomes US President. Party labels don’t matter - it’s the bombs that count. Let’s not forget that Henry Jackson, the father of modern US neo-conservatism, aka ’The Senator from Boeing’, was a Democrat. Progressives who decide to support Hillary Clinton on the basis that in a battle with the 'extremist' Trump she'd be 'the lesser of two evils’ are likely to be making a big mistake.

"Hillary Clinton never found a war she didn’t support," says Jill Stein.

No wonder that having failed to halt the rise of a man too wealthy to be controlled in the Republican race, the discredited pro-Iraq war gang are now rallying to the Clinton ‘Democratic’ cause.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.