by Prof. James Petras, Global Research:
In the last few months, several competing political, economic and military sectors – linked to distinct ideological and ethnic groups – have clearly emerged at the centers of power.
We can identify some of the key competing and interlocking directorates of the power elite:
1. Free marketers, with the ubiquitous presence of the ‘Israel First’ crowd.
2. National capitalists, linked to rightwing ideologues.
3. Generals, linked to the national security and the Pentagon apparatus, as well as defense industry.
4. Business elites, linked to global capital.
This essay attempts to define the power wielders and evaluate their range of power and its impact.
The Economic Power Elite: Israel-Firsters and Wall Street CEO’s
‘Israel Firsters’ dominate the top economic and political positions within the Trump regime and, interestingly, are among the Administration’s most vociferous opponents. These include: the Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, as well as her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, an Israeli citizen and former (sic) Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Jared Kushner, (image above) President Trump’s son-in-law and an Orthodox Jew, acts as his top adviser on Middle East Affairs. Kushner, a New Jersey real estate mogul, set himself up as the archenemy of the economic nationalists in the Trump inner circle. He supports every Israeli power and land grab in the Middle East and works closely with David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel (and fanatical supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements) and Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International negotiations. With three Israel-Firsters determining Middle East policy, there is not even a fig leaf of balance.
The Treasury Secretary is Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, who leads the neo-liberal free market wing of the Wall Street sector within the Trump regime. Gary Cohn, a longtime Wall Street influential, heads the National Economic Council. They form the core business advisers and lead the neo-liberal anti-nationalist Trump coalition committed to undermining economic nationalist policies.
An influential voice in the Attorney General’s office is Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Muellerthe chief investigator, which led to the removal of nationalists from the Trump Administration.
The fairy godfather of the anti-nationalist Mnuchin-Cohn team is Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sach’s Chairman. The ‘Three Israel First bankerteers’ are spearheading the fight to deregulate the banking sector, which had ravaged the economy, leading to the 2008 collapse and foreclosure of millions of American homeowners and businesses.
The ‘Israel-First’ free market elite is spread across the entire ruling political spectrum, including ranking Democrats in Congress, led by Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer and the Democratic Head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff. The Democratic Party Israel Firsters have allied with their free market brethren in pushing for investigations and mass media campaigns against Trump’s economic nationalist supporters and their eventual purge from the administration.
The Military Power Elite: The Generals
The military power elite has successfully taken over from the elected president in major decision-making. Where once the war powers rested with the President and the Congress, today a collection of fanatical militarists make and execute military policy, decide war zones and push for greater militarization of domestic policing. Trump has turned crucial decisions over to those he fondly calls ‘my Generals’ as he continues to dodge accusations of corruption and racism.