1. The danger of the trio of Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton is threefold. First, they have the main levers of power — including nuclear — in their hands. Second, they believe that there are no limits to U.S power in the global theater. Third, they have few hesitations about projecting that power — especially military — to effect regime change. Reckless unilateralism is in their bloodstream.
While people understandably worry about the danger of war with North Korea, it is safe to expect sabre rattling against Iran to ramp up in the coming days and weeks. No one in this rogue’s gallery likes — actually they loathe — the nuclear agreement with Iran and its government.
2. In my view most of the major media constitute an essential — and in some ways irreplaceable — part of the opposition to Trump’s authoritarian war on democratic institutions, norms, and rights.
They do sometimes dwell on the trivial and traffic in sensationalized gossip. But there is much else in their coverage and analysis as well. I know that because I regularly read major newspapers and watch news/cable TV.
They don’t present a radical perspective, but why would anyone — except Fox — think they would. What they do, however, is challenge many of the anti-democratic words and actions of the Trump administration, not to mention the enabling role of the GOP. And their investigative role, including into Trump collusion with the Putin government in the last election, because of their resources and vast network of contacts is indispensable.
And, I’m sure they will find ways to be on the right side in the coming elections, which are the main instrument that millions have to strike a body blow against Trump and the Republican controlled Congress.
Not everyone is of this mind for sure, but as I see it, we have to avoid a narrow framing of the struggle against authoritarian rule — a struggle that the events of this week make much more perilous.
We should always bear in mind that only an expansive, multi-class, heterogeneous democratic coalition has the capacity to defeat Trump and Trumpism.
3. Just completed Anne Applebausm’s “Red Famine.” The book makes a compelling argument that the famine that killed roughly 4 million people, mainly peasants, was the intentional handiwork of Stalin. Here’s a review by a Soviet scholar Sheila Fitzpatrick that I found insightful.