Shadow Boxing for Empire: The Mueller Report

James Petras


By the end of the Obama regime, the US had gone through seven wars and was in the process of losing five of them. Washington was facing global challenges to its dominant economic and political role from Russia and China. The US adopted a dual response: to pursue a policy of reconciliation with regional adversaries – (Iran and Cuba) – and to promote a policy of confrontation toward China and Russia.

President Obama and Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton sought to encircle China in Asia and ‘rollback’ Russia’s influence and ties with neighboring countries (like the Ukraine) and Middle Eastern allies (Syria).

The Republican candidate, Donald Trump, competed with the Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton for global supremacy but through subterfuge, cloaking their drive for world power with a ‘nationalist agenda’ (‘make America strong’) … Donald Trump and Clinton shared the strategic goal focused on weakening and destroying rivals and competitors in China, Russia and EU.

The problem is that the US public, having suffered through three decades of losing and costly wars, was in no mood to opt for more of the same.

Candidate and subsequent President Donald Trump pursued a double discourse; talking of peace negotiations while pursuing aggressive wars, following essentially the Obama-Clinton line.

Since both parties followed similar unpopular policies which threatened to deepen inequalities and multiply wars, they both adopted a policy of strategic deception by focusing on clearly peripheral issues that served to intensify electoral conflict and deflected public attention from their essential convergence on imperial goals.

The Democrats could not defeat or discredit President Trump by acknowledging the continuities in policy. Hence the Democrat embraced a bizarre conspiracy that the Republicans and Trump were colluding with the Russians to steal the elections and betray democracy and the American people. The Republicans responded by pursuing and deepening the Obama-Clinton program by adopting and radicalizing their anti-Russian, China, Iranian, Venezuela, Cuban policies. President Trump embraced the Democratic globalist agenda but cloaked it with a bellicose pseudo ‘nationalist’ ideology.

In a word, the Democratic Party and President Trump engaged in prolonged shadow boxing over whom and how they would direct the US global power grab.

The key to the party-partisan shadow boxing was the Mueller Report; specifically, the Democratic Party’s attempt to oust Trump without exposing their imperial convergence.

The Mueller Report (MR)

After a two-year investigation no Russian conspiracy was discovered and no one cared – the public have other concerns.

According to a compilation by foreign policy analyst Steve Lendman, Mueller’s “Report” employed ‘40 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and other professional staff for over 2 years and spent $25 million dollars’. According to Lendman they issued 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, interviewed over 500 individuals and made 34 indictments in search for evidence.

None of which pertained to the Russian-Trump plot.

Was the Money and Resources Wasted by the Mueller Report?

According to most critics of the it was a ‘big waste of money’. That would be true if the purpose of the MR was designed to discover a politically partisan case to impeach Trump.

However, if the deeper meaning of the MR was to distract public attention from large-scale, long-term issues of climate change, living standards, trade wars, economic sanctions, wars and the declining economy, then the money allocated to the MR was well taken.

Twenty-five million dollars spent to distract citizens from a war budget of nearly a trillion dollars was a bargain – very cheap entry fee for witnessing an inconclusive bi-partisan shadow boxing match.

In particular the Democratic Party could burnish their ‘fighting powers’ without risking their alliance and ties with donors on Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, Big Pharma etc.

President Trump could engage the MR by fighting and winning and not have to face his bigger problems with disenchanted supporters over the massive tax handouts to the corporate elite, his opposition to peaceful relations with Cuban, Iran, Venezuela and Syria and the popular wrath induced by Trump’s craven submission to Israel’s land grabs in Palestine and Syria.

The public still awaits the so-called bi-partisan trillion-dollar spending legislation for infrastructure reconstruction. Instead the Democrats move from Trump-Russia conspiracies to investigating Trump’s ‘obstruction of justice’.

Two Centuries of US ‘Meddling’ in Latin American Elections

Since the early 19th century when the US self-appointed their right to intervene in Latin America (the Monroe Doctrine), the US has invaded, overthrown, occupied and dictated Latin American economic, political and military policies. Since WWII the US overthrew democratic governments in Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. More recently the US plotted the overthrowing of governments in Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

Neither the Republican or Democratic parties have spoken up to condemn US meddling in the politics of other free and independent countries. Instead both parties selectively invented fake plots of Russia controlling US voters in place of recognizing that voters were fed up by the Obama-Clinton trillion-dollar bank handouts, Middle East wars and… voted for Trump.

Needless to say, the voters are not impressed by Trump’s ‘victory’ in defeating the Democrats Russian plot.

Fewer and fewer voters are being attracted by the bipartisan shadow boxing – they are no longer distracted and deceived by palace conspiracies. They want trade agreements with China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and Russia that create jobs. They want trillion-dollar infrastructure investments not handouts to war contractors and Israeli lobbies.

The MR is not read by the public; it is ignored and disposed as toilet paper. They want real political and class warfare (not shadow boxing) on health care, student debts, joint ventures with China and Russia and North Korea that increase jobs and avoid wars.

If we go to elections on the basis of four years of public chatter by Wall Street look a-likes, the majority of the American people will not collude in perpetuating their decline and death through wars, drugs and air and water pollution.