What if Trump Won’t Go? – Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

Video Thumbnailhttps://vimeo.com/432368295 Larry Wilkerson is part of three working groups that are concerned that there will not be free and fair elections or a peaceful and constitutional transition of power; Wilkerson and Jay have a wide ranging discussion on what might happen if Trump won't go, on theAnalysis.

Larry Wilkerson is part of three working groups that are concerned that there will not be free and fair elections or a peaceful and constitutional transition of power; Wilkerson and Jay have a wide ranging discussion on what might happen if Trump won’t go, on theAnalysis.news podcast.

TRANSCRIPT

Paul Jay
Hi, I’m Paul Jay and welcome to theAnalysis.news podcast.
On the web site of the National Task Force on Election Crises, there is a document that asks the question, can the president cancel or postpone the election? The web site, the document on the website answers the question, “Thus, the general election is governed by a combination of the U.S. Constitution, federal law and state and local laws. None of these give the president any authority to change the date of the election or to extend the current presidential term past January 20th,” end quote. Still, obviously, people are concerned about what Trump might actually do if he loses, or there wouldn’t be groups planning for just such a possibility. Of course, the critical question is what would the military do in such a situation?
Now joining us is Lawrence Wilkerson. He’s a retired United States colonel, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Clarise, a distinguished adjunct professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary, And he’s part of three groups that are working towards a constitutional transition of power. If Trump loses the November election, they say they’re working towards a fair election, but I think that’s what people actually have in mind. The National Task Force on Election Crises, as I mentioned, he’s also a member of the Transition Integrity Project and the Silver Linings Group.
Thanks for joining us, Larry.

Larry Wilkerson
Thanks for having me on your podcast, Paul.

Paul Jay
So, first of all, what why do you did you and others think that these organizations were necessary? What kind of people are in them? I know it’s kind of secret who’s in them, although we know you’re in them. So who’s in them that you can talk about? And just what are they working at? What’s being planned?

Larry Wilkerson
The National Task Force has been meeting since June of 2019. And in its 26 March 2020 press release, which I assume you have a copy of, many of the members are listed. So there’s not that much secrecy about the membership. There is some confidentiality about what we agreed to, and what we’ve put out publicly, and who’s responsible for that, and other aspects of our doing that. The Transition Integrity Project is to this point very, very close, whole, and confidential. And Silver Linings Group out of New York, run by Eugene Iraqi is, shall we say, more in your face, more in the front of the foxhole, trying to make sure that there are free and fair elections. And it’s more pointed towards, as you indicated, the removal of Donald Trump from office. The national task force’s mission is free and fair elections. It prides itself on being transpartisan. We don’t have a political party that we’re backing or supporting.

Paul Jay
What are some of the better known names that are involved?

Larry Wilkerson
Well, we just recently acquired the membership of Dr. Michael Osterholm. You probably know him, he’s one of the leading epidemiologists dealing with the coronavirus. He’s been all over the televisions and so forth. We’re very lucky to have him because I think his voice is very sane and he’s an expert. I knew him when he was working at Johns Hopkins right after 9/11 when we had some real concern about bioterrorism and such things, and he was an extraordinary help to us.
Another member that we just gained was Senator Chuck Hagel. Chuck Hagel, former secretary of defense, the long-serving senator from Nebraska. Another member that’s listed on that sheet is Michael Chertoff, Norm Ornstein, and others. And our concern is free and fair elections that are accepted by a majority of the American people as legitimate. No political dog in the fight. As I said, the other groups are somewhat different.

Paul Jay
Now, the statement that I quoted the segment from. And obviously, people involved in the national task force, but also we know in the Transition Integrity Project and the other one, Silver Linings, people are really concerned that there may not be a normal or peaceful transition, a transition of power, the possibility of Trump trying to postpone the elections. I don’t see that he would cancel the elections, but he might postpone in a way that effectively does that, whether it’s using the pandemic as an excuse, one day he’s downplaying the pandemic. But that wouldn’t stop him on another day of playing it if it was in his interest. Or even more dangerously, some kind of provocation, whether it’s his provocation that Trump creates with Iran or some other kind of wartime situation or whether there’s some kind of terrorist attack, either legitimate or otherwise, to create such an excuse. I’m guessing that in one or all of these groups, you’re thinking through these things. And at the core of gaming this out, what would happen? As I said in the introduction, the question has got to be, what would the military do? And what do you make of this, General Milley apologizing for and disassociating himself from that publicity stunt when Trump had him marching out in uniform and to the church, and Trump holds up the Bible. As a chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologizing for following what we assume was an order from the commander in chief. I mean, it’s kind of unprecedented, I would think. And then quite a few other generals came out and critiqued Trump for over the same PR stunt and also the some of some military leaders have come out openly against Trump’s calls for militarizing the suppression of protest.

Is there a bigger meaning underneath the generals and other military leaders doing all this? Are they sending him a message that if you try something unconstitutional and you don’t give up power, if you lose, the military’s not going to be with you? Is there something going on there?

Larry Wilkerson
You did mention my old boss, Colin Powell, who also came out and made a fairly strong statement. Yes, I think there was a very powerful message delivered by both the retired officers. And I understand the number of retired officers who weighed in with General Milley was quite significant. And from the active-duty officers like General Milley, if you will, his apology over at National Defense University, virtual presentation, of course, in this coronavirus time. But nonetheless, his presentation to the class over there was quite significant and quite eloquent about where their responsibilities lie, where their oath lies to the Constitution, not to the man or woman in the White House, and so forth. Yes, it was a significant, low key and subtle but very strong statement that our allegiance is to the Constitution, not to the man or woman in the White House. So be careful, Mr. President.

Paul Jay
Can Trump get rid of Melley? Or would that be too dangerous politically? Or does he care about such things anymore?
Larry Wilkerson
I don’t think he cares too much about it, but I do think there are people around him who are smarter than he is, with regard to political ramifications of X, and they are advising him. And he must take their advice from time to time. I think he’s at a point right now where he acts like that repetitively and they would be repetitive. Now, I mean, look at how many people he’s already fired. Just take more poll points away from me. He’s losing poll points now from the fringe of his base. I think probably somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to nine percent has been peeled off of his base, if we really knew the truth, so he knows that.
Look at his speech at West Point, for example, I thought somebody had stuffed some value in him. I was expecting a lot more strain from the teleprompter, a lot more typical Trump-like remarks and so forth. But he was pretty calm. It was a platitudinous speech. It was a speech delivered almost verbatim from the teleprompter. I think he’s been somewhat subdued, been somewhat sobered by this experience. That doesn’t mean that he can’t do something really wild in the future. And I wouldn’t put it past him at all to do something, as you suggested, around the election time, and we’re certainly counting on managing those kinds of crises if we have to. But I think he has been subdued quite a bit by this retreat from him of this instrument that he thought he could haul out at any time, anyplace, and get immediate surges of patriotic support because he is so attached to, quote, “his generals”, unquote.
Paul Jay
Does Bolton attack him through the book? Not just so publicly, but so vigorously, even viciously, the interviews that Bolton is giving on television right now? Not missing any words, Trump is not fit for office. He’s essentially describing an unhinged madman. Does Bolton represent more than Bolton when he talks? Now, Bolton was quite close to billionaire Robert Mercer. Mercer funded his super PAC before back in 2016. And Mercer is this multibillionaire that used to own, I don’t know if he still controls break part news, maybe his daughter does, Steve Bannon worked for Mercer, Kellyanne Conway worked for Mercer and Bannon Mercer was close to Bolton. That’s an important nexus for Trump. I don’t know whether Bolton represents a falling out between Trump and those people. Are they giving up on him? Do you have any take on this?

Larry Wilkerson
Well, I’m a strange person for you to be asking about John Bolton. I would consider John Bolton as another fashion, another form of Trump, only a little saner, and a little sober, and a little more apt to speak with a wider vocabulary, if you will. John is no friend of mine, and so I put everything that John is saying, everything that John’s written, my next door neighbor, Al Jazeera guy got me a copy of the book with a grain of salt. Not to say that it isn’t descriptive of Donald Trump, that he hasn’t nailed the man. I think most of us had already nailed the man. But John is suspect, in my mind for bad policy and dangerous policy with regard to national security in particular as Donald Trump. So this is like the pot calling the kettle black.
Paul Jay
I’ve interviewed Bolton and followed him for years. And I would say, while Trump is a mega, maniacal, narcissistic, unstable. What do they call him? Baby man? He really is a kind of a child in an adult body in many ways. Bolton is an out sociopath and a very clever, smart sociopath. He knows a fair amount about history.
Larry Wilkerson
Who is furious? Paul, by the way, furious, absolutely furious that he didn’t get his war with Iran.
Paul Jay
Yeah, furious. And I think he represents more than himself in that photo op.
Larry Wilkerson
So do I.
Paul Jay
There’s certainly a section of the neocons and I don’t know about the military brass, but certainly a section of the neocons that gave us the Iraq war.
Larry Wilkerson
Yeah, I think you’d find most of the military brass, most of the general officer flag officer corps don’t like John Bolton either.

Paul Jay
The military leadership and down through the ranks as a result of a very calculated plan, over the years, have been, I don’t know if the word infiltrated is the right word, but maybe a very strong presence of very devoted evangelical Christians at many levels, including at very senior levels. And that section of evangelicals, because I don’t think all evangelicals are pro-trump or pro-war by any means. But that section of evangelicals, I mean, they really do believe in the apocalypse, and wouldn’t mind so much if that’s what they said.
Might there be a split in the military if Trump wants to push us to the edge, even if somebody like Milley and others that are, you know, in these terms more rational? Might there be a split in the military about how to respond to what would be a kind of a Trump anti-constitutional coup?
Larry Wilkerson
Yes, there could be a very worrisome possibility and not one that we’re not looking at. But I would say that of late, what has happened and more of the positive aspects of what has happened is that my concern would have been more with the ranks than it would have been with the upper officer corps. And I think what polls are showing right now is that even the ranks, many of whom a large percentage of them voted for Trump in 2016, are falling off. There are no longer Trump supporters. So my concern in the past would have been that we’d have a split in the military that would more or less follow the right structure with some of the higher ranks, as you’ve just indicated, maybe some of them had been evangelicals falling in with the lower ranks. But I don’t think that’s a problem anymore, I’m hoping it’s not anyway.
Now, we do have, as you know, some neo-Nazis in the military, indeed. We’ve had reports some come into the military for a three-year stand and they get training in the military and go back to their neo-Nazi group. Ali Soufan has written about that and about the danger of this sort of domestic terrorism if you will. But I think the armed forces are going to state what we used to say in the parlance, stay in barracks, that they will not come out to do anything against the American people or for that matter, to do anything that the President might order them to do that would lead to something like that. For example, you’re familiar with the election of 1876, Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes. Grant had to dispatch military forces to some of the polling places to protect the black voters, newly enfranchised black voters, from the Klu Klux Klan and other groups like that. Clearly, this was a use of the military posse comitatus, if you will, to reinforce civilian law enforcement. That may not be all that swift, but Grant did it for good purposes, and I think we have to forgive him because he did it for basically good purposes. Donald Trump would not be doing it for good purposes. He would be dispatching military forces to so-called emergency polling places where something was happening, say, a resurgence of the coronavirus or some other thing that he could conjure as a national emergency and using them in that way to influence voters. I don’t think the military is going to go along with that. I’m not even sure right now that a governor, a Republican governor, say I’m one of the states that have both a Republican governor and a Republican-dominated legislature would be able to call his National Guard out and do something like that, though I know a couple that might try. I just don’t think they would now.

Paul Jay
Yeah, I think this George Floyd moment coming at the time of the pandemic and economic crisis and the numbers of people that come out in the streets. I don’t think the elites, in general, had any expectations such a thing was possible, and certainly, the right-wing must be a little bit in shock about where it’s at right now. That rally in Tulsa is sort of indicative, and they are back on their heels, at least at the moment.

Larry Wilkerson
I think you’re right. And that worries me, too, because they must be plotting to figure, I know my party pretty well, they must be plotting to figure out how to get back on their toes. And one of the ways, of course, that they could get back on their toes is to make this situation even worse until it becomes a situation where because of the dynamics and say the destruction of property, the burning of property, the wreckage of property, whatever, they actually convinced a majority of the American people that order does need to be restored, and then they’re able to do it. Then they do it and reinforce the tendency of some amongst the protesters to use violence themselves. And then it just goes on in a self-fulfilling prophetic way, and we end up with blood in the streets. We have to remember what Nixon did, remember Jackson and Jackson State, and remember Kent State and the deaths that occurred there. We could be in a situation that turns out to be a perfect storm, given the coronaviruses, a backdrop and the sort of Pin-Up feeling that a lot of people have the fed up feeling that a lot of people have, you could turn this into a police state pretty swiftly if you were at least somewhat smart about the way you did it. And I’m not trying to suggest anything to this administration. I think they’re probably already thinking about things like that.

Paul Jay
Well, no doubt. I was reading a story this morning on The Intercept about a couple of young lawyers from Brooklyn that were charged with throwing Molotov cocktails into an abandoned and wrecked police car. And while, you know, damaging an abandoned and wrecked and wrecked police car, I don’t think is any big deal on the moral scale of violence and so on, but I and I have no idea whether these lawyers even did it and the whole thing may not be true, but if anyone out there that considers themselves on the progressive side of the ledger is considering that kind of activity, they are out of their minds because that is exactly what to Trump right-wing forces want. And it’s like doing unpaid work because if this doesn’t happen spontaneously, there’s going to be a right steg fire events at some point. There’s no way they’re not going to try to create provocations to create the rationale for what? For what you’re saying. But I’ve been struck with the failure so far of his law and order rhetoric, in spite of all the fires, in spite of the looting. Popular opinion is solidly behind the protesters and people seem to understand.

Larry Wilkerson
Yeah, Paul, I think it has a lot to do with what I see in my young 20 somethings. That’s what I call them in my seminars at William Mary and at George Washington Mercy and other places where lecturing and talk and teach. Sometimes I see an an absolute break from the past in terms of their understanding of what it is to be in a community, what it is to have black friends, to have brown friends, to have yellow friends, to have, you know, gay friends, to have transsexual friends. All this is changing. And what you’re seeing, I think, in many respects, is brought about by the horrible treatment of Black Americans that we have seen so vividly illustrated in the past weeks. And they’re finally saying, as Americans of the Aspirant Democracy, ” We should be enough, Enough, this is over. If we have to defund the damn police. This is over. We’re not going to do this anymore. And listen, grandpa and grandma go die with the coronavirus.” If you have to because we’re taking over this country and we’re going to change it and it’s going to live a little closer to its aspirations. I think that’s a large part of this. And you could say that the coronavirus has given them the kind of motivation, the kind of frustration that has put them out there and said, ” Hey, we can stay here. We don’t have a job anyway.” And so you’ve got this combination of events. But again, I want to say this is how things like 1917 and Russia, like 1979 and Tehran, and like 1789 in France. This is how these sorts of things get started. So we’ve got to be very careful about how we deal with these things. And that worries me because we don’t have a very careful individual in the White House.

Paul Jay
The events at NASCAR, the support of the drivers of Bubba Wallace getting rid of the Confederate flag. The video, I guess it’s from today or yesterday. Where all the drivers and the crew members and they all come out in this walk down one of the race tracks in support of his car, and he gets out of the car and they all hugged him. And I mean, that’s got to send shudders through the racist sections of the country. That’s always seen NASCAR as like, you know, the symbol of their reactionary culture.

Larry Wilkerson
And it’s not just here. I’m watching an English Premier League game yesterday, a soccer game. And they’re Burnley and they’re playing and they do what they’ve started to do. Now they all take a knee at the commencement of the game and they have a minute or two of Black Lives Matter concentration. And over the stadium flies a plane with a placard hanging out the back of the plane. And it says all lives matter, and before you know it, Bernoulli’s on the ticket. They’re getting the flight plan, they’re getting the name of that pilot, they get the name of the plane. I mean, just incredible. You can say, well, that’s a little bit of an overreaction. No, it’s a reaction that should have been happening ever since 1876. You know, we’re 100 hundred years late and doing this sort of thing. But again, I want to say that these kinds of forces, which are, as you indicated with the NASCAR event, these kinds of things that look so good, that look so apt, that look like they should have happened years ago, that looked like we’re solving our problems, finally can be co-opted by other powers. And you wind up with blood in the streets and a real mess on your hands.

Paul Jay
There’s true I guess the only caveat I’d say for that is that I think the consciousness of a broad section of the people is higher than anyone thought.

Larry Wilkerson
I do, too. I do, too.

Paul Jay
And they’re going to discern between bullshit and the real issues. I’m not saying everyone, but more than people thought.

Larry Wilkerson
You know, I hope you’re right. Well, I’m just reading about a group that wants to go to Gettysburg and pull all the statues down, including Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Oh, my God. There couldn’t be a more American, American in our history than Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the hero of Gettysburg who led the 20th Maine down that mountain into those rebels, into those traitors, myths. And yet they want to go to Gettysburg and pull the statue down. Well, come on, people. Let’s think about what we do before we do it. And this statue business. Don’t pull the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. Down. Don’t pull the statue of what’s his name. The guy that killed, the first grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan down in Memphis. Instead, put a plaque on Lee’s statue. Let’s have the history, This is a man who graduated from West Point, took the taxpayers dollar, took the king’s coin, and then later turned against the king, turned against a state that gave him his education and his profession and became a traitor and old forest pillow on his statue. Put a sign, put a plaque that says, ” This man killed three surrendering black soldiers at Fort Pillow in the U.S. Civil War, later became leader of the Klu Klux Klan and was responsible for killing limitless numbers of blacks across the South.” Don’t take the statues down. Tell our young people who these people were. Tell the young people what our history was.

Paul Jay
When you’re in these groups, whether it’s the task force or the integrity project, what are you seeing as a realistic worst-case scenario, a scenario, best scenario?

Larry Wilkerson
We at the National Task Force. We put down, somewhere, in the neighborhood of a couple of dozen of potential crises and later put some more down as the virus was upon us. And we sort of realized we couldn’t deal with them all. So we kind of looked at him in terms of severity, degree of severity, maybe not very probable, but really bad if it did happen, and then very probable, but not so serious. And we picked about 10 or so of them. We tried to deal with them. Coronavirus, of course, has put a few more on us. For example, is there’s a vicious resurgence around the end of October, November? How do we ensure a free and fair election? You’ve seen what happened in Wisconsin. We’ve seen what happened in Pennsylvania. We’ve seen what happened in Georgia and so forth. We’re looking at all these elections very closely. And you sort of map out strategies legal and on the ground, strategies to deal with the kinds of crises that you think might happen. But if I’ve learned anything about crisis management in the military, Colin Powell used to say, you know, Larry, the crisis is going to get us is the one we didn’t think of.

Well, let me give you an example. Just a small example. In Wisconsin, we had a real problem with polls and enough polls for voters to be able to blow the traditional way, not mail-in votes or absentee votes or whatever, but the traditional way. And we found out that one of the reasons that Wisconsin had so few polling places open was no nefariousness really on anyone’s part. It was the problem with most poll workers in the precincts across this country are 60 or older. And so you didn’t want to expose those people to the Coronavirus and they did not go out and get young people and trained them quick enough to put them in the polling places. Well, now we’ve got all kinds of initiatives across the country to train younger people, to be poll workers. But we never anticipated that until the virus was upon us and we saw that election in Wisconsin. So there is all manner of things like that are real and significant and other things that are contrived largely by the Republicans, I think that we’re looking at. I told the group I’m one of the few Republicans in the group and I told them, look, we’re sitting here talking about our main mission is free and fair elections. Let me assure you that in my political party, in at least nine states, probably more, there are people sitting around a room just like this one, and they’re talking about making the elections not free and not fair. And the reason they’re doing that, the president himself has stated, “If we had free and fair elections in the United States, the Republican Party would never win again.”

Paul Jay
So let’s assume a better scenario in terms of the constitutional process anyway. There are elections and they are at least fair enough that Trump loses. And it seems to me if Hillary Clinton had campaigned in the swing states, Trump never would have been elected.

Larry Wilkerson
She was terrible. She was absolutely terrible. Her whole campaign staff, where I’m concerned, was terrible. She ran a terrible campaign.

Paul Jay
So let’s assume, I’m a competent campaign with a ton of money, with real attention to the swing states. And public opinion is just so against Trump in general that even the right realizes they have to give it up and plan for a new version of Trump, and one less crazy in 2024, and Trump loses and Biden comes into power, which is by far the most likely of all the scenarios. I’m concerned, and more than concern, because this morning I was watching a replay of a recent Sunday morning talk shows on is Rahm Emanuel. Rahm Emanuel’s and the Chuck Schumer’s and Rahm Emanuel in terms of being so reactionary within the Democratic Party on domestic issues, Chuck Schumer being practically a John Bolton on foreign policy issues.

Larry Wilkerson
Wall Street and Schumer’s Shears owned lock, stock, and barrel by Wall Street.

Paul Jay
And Wall Street essentially owns lock, stock, and barrel, the military-industrial complex.

Larry Wilkerson
Absolutely.

Paul Jay
There’s no line between them anymore. If there ever was, there is not anymore.

Larry Wilkerson
And very scarily and I’ve just finished, I’ve sort of gorged on this in the last month. Very frighteningly, they own the nuclear weapons complex. And from Hanford out on the Columbia River in the state of Washington, where you have a potential noble, times one hundred building, because of Bacto corporation and other Malfeasance in managing the nuclear complex. Everything from waste to present weapons building capabilities to the fact that we now have. Paul, do you realize that we have moved back to a posture that is almost identical, if not worse, than the posture we had in the Cold War with all of our alerts and our time to fire missiles and our time to engage with ballistic missiles from submarines and so forth. We are back in a situation that in 1992 and three under H.W. Bush and Colin Powell as chairman, we tried our best to get us away from because we knew how dangerous such a situation was. We’re back there now. Not only that, if you look at Trump’s nuclear posture review, you see that we’re going to spend something like 1.2, 1.3 trillion over the next decade or so to make the situation even worse. And look at what we’ve done with the permission to start a nuclear war, either first use or in response to use. We’ve given the entire responsibility, with no deliberation necessary, to the president of the United States.

Paul Jay
And dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds of other people who can independently fire.

Larry Wilkerson
Look at Bill Perry and Tom Colinas. The new book, “The Button” that just came out. Bill Perry, of course, former secretary of defense, one of the few secretaries that I have a lot of respect for. Bill knows what he started about, probably the only engineer ever to be secretary of defense. And Bill Terry, in that book. What if we get hacked? Well, what if we have a just a high school hacker who’s pretty good, who’s sitting there with his Diet Coke that decides to take over a couple of nuclear silos or whatever. I mean, it’s possible. It’s so possible. It makes you cringe when you read the book. And yet that’s where we are. That’s what we’ve done to ourselves. We call it mutually assured destruction in the old days. Well, it’s mutually assured today and it’s more dangerous than it ever was during the height of the Cold War. And why? For what reason? Who wants to shoot nuclear weapons in the United States today? Who would be insane enough to do that? And by the same token, we’re not going to shoot at Russia, we’re not going to shoot them in the UK or France. So why are we doing this? Paul, the answer is simple, because Congress is in the hands of the nuclear weapons complex and the nuclear weapons complex pays the Congress to do its bidding. And so we’re going to continue to do this. It’s that simple.

Paul Jay
I did an article which is on theAnalysis website, which if you have people haven’t seen it, I think it’s worth looking at, it’s at the bottom of the site. And it’s about three big asset managers led by BlackRock, which had become the three largest companies, finance companies on Wall Street.

Larry Wilkerson
BlackRock owns us, they own us.

Paul Jay
Those three companies led by BlackRock, not only control every major media organization, with the exception of Bloomberg and The Washington Post that are privately owned, not only on the majority of all the fossil fuel companies in the world, with the exception of the total in France, not only own, I should say, control the voting of 90 percent of the S&P 500. Included in that are the twelve companies that make nuclear weapons the same asset manager. Companies led by BlackRock have essential control of Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, it goes on and on. And it’s not this evil Machiavellian puppeteers. It’s the blindness of the system. That just needs to make money, because that’s Black Rock’s job, I mean, they have pension funds that invest in them and sovereign wealth funds and billionaires funds. Their job is to make money. And how do you make money if you all nuclear weapons manufacturers you get Congress to? OK, a trillion dollars of which is going to be spent on upgrading the nuclear weapon’s operation. And of course, that instigates Russia to exactly the same thing. The Russians are going to spend a trillion dollars over the same time period doing exactly the same thing. Well, the Chinese apparently are a little more restrained. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Larry Wilkerson
And the Chinese. Well, the talk that’s going on there now, though, is we’ve got to have. Equivalency, at least to the extent that we can ride out a first strike and fire back, and that means an entirely different approach to the number of weapons, the type of weapons, the sophistication of the weapons. And it probably means, and you know this, once you start doing that and your PLA and your PLAN and the Chinese military gets a real good feeling for how far it can go. I mean, they’re no different from our own military and no different from our own military-industrial complex, just a little more centralized. Then you start getting the march for equivalency writ large. And so you’ve got three powers at that point, both the China or the Chinese, the Americans and the Russians, all going back to a nuclear trigger, that is a hair trigger, with plenty of weapons to destroy the world a number of times over and you’re in this world of cyber warfare, too. And hacking and taking over other systems and so forth. It’s a nightmare. And we thought, that naive us in 1992 and 1993 that we were getting out of this finally, this madness of nuclear weapons. We should never have invented them in the first place. And then we get to 2002, we got the Moscow treaty, we thought we were taking 30000 stockpiles of both the Russians and our bar down to 2200, I think the figure was. Now we’ve reversed it, as far as I can tell, we’ve reversed it. And at the same time, Paul, we’re nullifying, negating all of the arms control efforts that kept us relatively safe during the Cold War and not putting anything in their place. This is this is insanity.

Paul Jay
If we don’t take advantage of this extraordinary convergence of the pandemic, the people in the streets, Trump-ism, the November election. And what I mean, this extraordinary convergence, when Biden wins and barring something unbelievable or remarkable, which is possible, but if Biden will win if the Democratic Party stays in control of the Schumer’s the Rahm Emanuel’s, the whole establishment of the Democratic Party. If people don’t stay in the streets and this mass movement doesn’t become more conscious and make demands, whether it’s the climate crisis, whether it’s the new nuclear arms race, another pandemic, and even continued deep economic crisis and depression. I mean, everything is converging now. And the focus has to be that the movement has to become conscious that, yeah, get rid of Trump, but you can’t cede power to the people who set the table for Trump. That’s was four years of the Obama administration.

Larry Wilkerson
Well, I’d be even more forceful than that. I would say it was the 1947 National Security Act, it was every president since, it was 9/11, but it was particularly Bob Rubin and Bill Clinton and Chuck Schumer and those boys who sold America out to Wall Street, and it was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Barack Obama who took the national security state and gave it a Catalyst’s unparalleled and said it’s essential we don’t care about your civil liberties. We don’t care about anything except the security of this state and ultimately the security of my position in the Oval Office and gave no leadership to doing anything other than those two things. I mean, we’ve had such sorry presidents, such sorry leadership since 9/11. And I would submit such sorry leadership really since roughly Dick Nixon that we’ve just walked ourselves to the edge of the cliff. We’re not only doing the Roman thing, you know, a typical empire with imperial overstretch destroying itself. We’re doing it at a rate and with a stupidity and an ignorance that is just unparalleled in the history books, in my view.

Paul Jay
Well, let’s argue about Dick Nixon some other time. But on everything else, I’m with you.

Larry Wilkerson
I’ll take Dick, I’ll take Dick tomorrow morning and all his problems.

Paul Jay
I mean, if he’s comparing him to Trump for sure.

Larry Wilkerson
Did you ever think we would get to this point in our lifetime?

Paul Jay
I did. And the reason I did is because if you trace the role of finance. And when finance becomes the dominant economic force in the economy, and I’m talking when you buy 1927, 1928, 1929, it chaos reigns. The finance becomes so parasitical, so reckless, so blind. The politics have to reflect that. And of course, it’s worse now than then because it’s so much bigger and so much more powerful. And these are objective forces. It’s not just like finance won some policy debate all. Let’s have neoliberalism and they won some ideological struggle. It wasn’t that at all. Objective forces of globalization and digitization created finance to be massive, out of control, reckless, and an ownership so concentrated that Bloomberg says that BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, these three asset management companies by the year 2030. So that’s less than nine years away, are between the just the three of them, are going to control at least 20 trillion dollars of assets, more than the GDP of the United States. They already today control more than the GDP of China. These three companies, and especially BlackRock and it’s not like as I said earlier, it’s not some big evil conspiracy, but they are going to essentially control the world because it’s not like they just own the American economy. They own the commanding heights in Canada. They have essentially massive positions all through Western Europe. They’re now buying into the Chinese index funds. And it’s a blind process. And if we don’t put an end to it, it’s going to put an end to us.

Larry Wilkerson
Someone had best come on to figure out a way to orient a lot of that power and money toward dealing with climate change or we’re all toast anyway.

Paul Jay
Yeah, that is in the final analysis, the point. I mean, my plan is but I don’t know how you ever get a president than a Congress that would do it. You’d simply by controlling interest to BlackRock.

Larry Wilkerson
And I was gonna say you need to nationalize.

Paul Jay
The truth is the stock market would go down the toilet without that money from the Fed, all you have to do is say we’re pulling out the supports, no more stimulus, no more this, no more that. BlackRock shares would go for a song.
Anyway, let’s end it there, but let’s pick it up again soon. Thanks very much for joining us, Larry.

Larry Wilkerson
Take care, Paul. And stay healthy up there in Canada.

Paul Jay
You too. And thank you for joining us on theAnalysis.news podcast.

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