Friday, March 9, 2018

Special Supplement: Democrats merge with Military-Intel complex

The CIA Democrats 


An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.
If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress...

The total of such candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 102 districts is 221. Each has a website that gives biographical details, which we have collected and reviewed for this report. It is notable that those candidates with a record in the military-intelligence apparatus, as well as civilian work for the State Department, Pentagon or National Security Council, do not hide their involvement, particularly in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They clearly regard working as a CIA agent in Baghdad, an Army special ops assassin in Afghanistan, or a planner for drone missile warfare in the White House or Pentagon as a star on their résumé, rather than something to conceal.
One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates. National security operatives (57) outnumber state and local government officials (45), lawyers (35), corporate executives, businessmen and wealthy individuals (30) and other professionals (19) among the candidates for Democratic congressional nominations.

Of the 102 primary elections to choose the Democratic nominees in these competitive districts, 44 involve candidates with a military-intelligence or State Department background, with 11 districts having two such candidates, and one district having three. In the majority of contests, the military-intelligence candidates seem likely to win the Democratic nomination, and, if the Democrats win in the general election, would enter Congress as new members of the House of Representatives.
There are some regional differences. In the Northeast, 21 of the 31 seats targeted by the Democrats have military-intelligence candidates. This area, not the South or Midwest, has the highest proportion of military-intelligence candidates seeking Democratic nominations....

There are 57 candidates for the Democratic nomination in 44 congressional districts who boast as their major credential their years of service in intelligence, in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, at the State Department, or some combination of all three. They make up the largest single occupational group running in the Democratic primaries that began March 6 in Texas and extend through mid-September, selecting the candidates who will appear on the general election ballot on November 6.
Aside from their sheer number, and the fact that more than 40 percent, 24 of the 57, are women, there are other aspects worth considering...

Another campaign website touches on the domestic operations of the US spy machine. Omar Siddiqui, running in California’s 48th District, describes his background as follows: “On the front lines of national defense, Mr. Siddiqui serves as a private advisor and consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on issues of national security and counter-terrorism and was formerly an advisor and community partner with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Mr. Siddiqui is presently director of special projects of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association…”

From the State Department to Capitol Hill

The final category of military-intelligence candidates consists of veterans of the US State Department during the Obama years, most of them former aides to Hillary Clinton. These are among the best financed and most publicized of the likely Democratic nominees. In the event of a Democratic “wave” in November, most would find themselves with seats in Congress....

Some political conclusions

There is growing popular hostility to the Trump administration, but within the political straitjacket of the two-party system, it is trapped without any genuine outlet. In November 2016, faced with the choice of equally repugnant ruling class figures—Hillary Clinton, the longtime stooge of Wall Street and the Pentagon, and Donald Trump, the corrupt billionaire from the financial underworld of real estate swindling and casino gambling—millions refused to vote. But disappointment and anger over the bankrupt, right-wing policies of the Obama administration led a sufficient number of working people to vote for Trump, particularly in devastated industrial states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that he could eke out an Electoral College victory despite losing the popular vote.
The 2018 elections could well see a similar process, but in reverse. Angered by the tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, the gutting of social programs like Medicaid and food stamps, the attacks on immigrants and democratic rights more generally, and Trump’s threats of military violence and even nuclear war, millions of working people, however reluctantly, will go to the polls to cast their ballots for the official “opposition,” the Democratic Party, which does not actually oppose Trump at all.
It is by no means certain that the Democrats will win control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm election on November 6. But the details presented in this report demonstrate that a Democratic victory would in no sense represent a shift to the left in capitalist politics...

it should be noted that there would be no comparable influx of Bernie Sanders supporters or other “left”-talking candidates in the event of a Democratic landslide. Only five of the 221 candidates reviewed in this study had links to Sanders or billed themselves as “progressive.” None is likely to win the primary, let alone the general election.

When the dust clears after November 6, 2018, there will almost certainly be more former CIA agents in the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives than former Sanders activists. It is the military-intelligence operatives who constitute the spine of the Democratic Party, not the Sanders “Our Revolution” group. This is a devastating verdict on the claims of the Vermont senator, backed by various pseudo-left groups, that it is possible to reform the Democratic Party and push it to the left....

For more than a century, a major political task of the Marxist movement in the United States has been to combat illusions in the Democratic Party, particularly those engendered by its comparatively brief periods of reformist politics, under President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, and again during the Kennedy-Johnson years of the 1960s. The struggle against the Democratic Party, as well as the Republicans, remains the main focus of the effort to establish the political independence of the working class.
But the 2018 campaign represents something qualitatively different. Neither party offers any credible prospect of significant social reform. Both offer right-wing nostrums, laced with militarism, while seeking to split the working class along the lines of race, gender and national origin....

Clinton ran in 2016 as the favored candidate of the military-intelligence apparatus, amassing hundreds of endorsements by retired generals, admirals and spymasters, and criticizing Trump as unqualified to be the commander-in-chief.
This political orientation has developed and deepened in 2018. The Democratic Party is running in the congressional elections not only as the party that takes a tougher line on Russia, but as the party that enlists as its candidates and representatives those who have been directly responsible for waging war, both overt and covert, on behalf of American imperialism. It is seeking to be not only the party for the Pentagon and CIA, but the party of the Pentagon and CIA....

The upper-middle-class layer that provides the “mass” base of the Democratic Party has moved drastically to the right over the past four decades, enriched by the stock market boom, consciously hostile to the working class, and enthusiastically supportive of the military-intelligence apparatus which, in the final analysis, guarantees its own social position against potential threats, both foreign and domestic. It is this social evolution that now finds expression on the surface of capitalist politics, in the rise of the military-intelligence “faction” to the leadership of the Democratic Party


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