Actually count on it, Hillary guarantees war
Here in my favourite American small town, I detect a strange, ominous feeling of approaching danger. Something has gone wrong with the USA.
I first came to Moscow, Idaho, eight years ago when the great Obama frenzy was at its unhinged peak. This is a divided place, traditional rural conservatives living alongside a Left-wing university campus, but in 2008 they coped with their deep divisions in the usual way.
People disagreed, but they did it politely and openly, and were ready to accept the result even if they did not like it. Almost every front lawn had its partisan placard.
Now politics has gone underground in an almost sinister way. I searched the town’s pleasant suburbs for a Trump or Clinton poster and found none, only a single defiant declaration of support for America’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Left-winger Bernie Sanders, who long ago quit the race.
Republican headquarters in Main Street until recently contained posters supporting lots of the party’s candidates for local office, but none at all for Donald Trump. Last week they finally managed to mention his name, but you have to look carefully for it in their window.
Democrat HQ, almost directly opposite, is nearly as coy about Hillary Clinton.
In private conversations (the only sort where people will say what they really think), you find out what this means. Democrats are holding their noses over Hillary because they despise her and wish she wasn’t their candidate.
But many Republicans are stifling their genuine enthusiasm for Trump, because – in small towns like this – they don’t want to annoy or alienate neighbours who may also be customers, clients, patients or employers.
Of course there are conservatives, usually serious Christians, who loathe and mistrust Donald Trump and see him for what he is – a balloon of noise and bluster which will one day burst in a terrible explosion of disappointment and regret.
But they have been swept aside by the great carnival of resentment and revenge which has carried Trump past all the obstacles and restraints that are supposed to prevent such people getting near real power. For Trump is the anti-Obama – emotional, irrational, a spasm.
Those who had to sit, grinding their teeth, through all the long-years of Obama-worship, now hope for their own matching hour of gloating.
And we really ought to recognise that rejoicing over the woes of your enemies is one of the greatest sinful pleasures in life. Few will turn down the chance.
I can see no good outcome of this. Adversarial politics are a good thing, but only if both sides are ultimately willing to concede that their rivals are entitled to win from time to time. But that attitude seems to have gone. Now the rule is that the winner takes all, and hopes to keep it if he (or she) can.
A narrow defeat for Trump will poison the republic. Millions of his supporters will immediately claim fraud at the polls, and nothing will convince them otherwise. The bitterness of the Florida ‘hanging chad’ episode of 2000 will seem like brotherly love compared with that fury.
A victory for Trump – decisive or narrow – will give astonishing powers to a lonely, inexperienced, ill-educated old man who (I suspect) is increasingly terrified of winning a prize he never really intended or expected to obtain.
A clear victory for Hillary Clinton would create even greater problems. Educated, informed people here believe that there are serious doubts about her health. Even if they are wrong, her militant interventionist foreign policies are terrifying.
I lived through the Cold War and never believed we were in real danger. But I genuinely tremble at the thought of Mrs Clinton in the White House. She appears to have learned nothing from the failed interventions of the past 30 years, and scorns Barack Obama’s praiseworthy motto: ‘Don’t do stupid stuff.’
She will do stupid stuff, and drag us into it, you may rely upon it.
How odd it is, to hear on the air the faint but insistent sound of coming war, here in this place of sweet, small hills, rich soil and wistful, mountainous horizons.
Men came here in search of what we all really desire, to be left alone to get on with the really important aims of life, to build a home and raise a family, to see the fruits of their labour, to believe what they wish to believe.
I cannot quite work out how the good, sane impulse that gave birth to the USA could possibly have led us to this nightmare choice between two equally horrible outcomes.
I shall just have to carry on hoping that I am wrong.
Syria's 'WMD moment': Don't be duped again
Almost everyone (barring a tiny knot of deluded losers) knows that Saddam Hussein had no WMD. Most people now grasp that Colonel Gaddafi wasn’t planning a massacre in Benghazi or ordering his troops to engage in mass rapes.
How long will it be before we also grasp that neither Russia nor Syria bombed a UN aid convoy in Aleppo?
This incident, about which almost no independently testable, checkable facts have yet been produced, is the WMD of Syria. If we all fall for it, then we shall very soon find ourselves embroiled in the most dangerous international confrontation since the Cuban missile crisis.
Under immense pressure from the despots of Saudi Arabia, the USA will not give up its efforts to overthrow the Syrian government. It is clear that it is now prepared to risk an open confrontation with Moscow to achieve this. Why? Who do they think they are, and how can their cause be so good that they take such risks?
The deliberate sabotage of a workable peace deal in Syria (opposed from the start by the Pentagon) is one of the scandals of our age. There was a chance we might end the misery of millions, and it was thrown away.
We in Britain must resist being dragged into a Syrian war, not least because, if we are, it will not be long before any troops we send there are being hounded in their own country for alleged war crimes. We’ve been fooled enough by this propaganda. Don’t be bamboozled again.
Source: Daily Mail