Trump Minus Narrative Equals Bushbama

Caitlin Johnstone
6 min readSep 8, 2018


Barack Obama is making headlines today. In a speech at the University of Illinois, Obama called out the “politics of fear” which are used by his successor and criticized an insufficient denunciation of “Nazi sympathizers” by the current administration.

“How hard can that be?” asked the former president. “Saying Nazis are bad?”

Also in the news, getting far less attention than the sparkly spectacle of Fauxgressive Jesus wagging his finger at Orange Hitler for being too nice to Nazis, is a report from the Washington Post (open it in a private browser to get around the paywall) that the Trump administration has done a complete 180 degree reversal of its prior position on Syria. And before you jump on me about believing anonymously sourced reports from an establishment outlet that is fully owned by a CIA contractor, this isn’t one of those: the sources are senior State Department officials who are named in the article.

According to the State Department’s James Jeffrey and Joel Rayburn, the Trump administration has now abandoned its previous goal of pulling out of Syria as soon as possible. The conditions for ending the US military’s illegal occupation of a sovereign nation now reportedly include “the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces from Syria, and establishment of a stable, nonthreatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community,” which is another way of saying that the occupation will continue indefinitely and regime change is back on the table.

Twenty paragraphs into the report, we get to something even more disturbing. While the Trump administration has been issuing warnings that there will be harsh consequences for using chemical weapons, apparently now no attacks of any kind by the Syrian government on the terrorist militias occupying the province of Idlib will be permitted by the United States at all. No attacking the terrorists, period.

“We’ve started using new language,” Jeffrey said, referring to previous warnings against the use of chemical weapons. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate “an attack. Period.”

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu­gee flows or attack innocent civilians,” and “the consequences of that are that we will shift our positions and use all of our tools to make it clear that we’ll have to find ways to achieve our goals that are less reliant on the goodwill of the Russians.”

So we’ve got Trump administration officials saying that the extremist factions which were armed and supported by the US and its allies during the Obama administration are completely off limits, and that the military occupation of Syria will continue until Syria’s Middle Eastern allies leave the country and the Syrian government begins acting as America commands.

So, maybe, the reason Trump doesn’t spend all day tweeting “Nazis are bad” is because if he did, the establishment propagandists would lose the narrative that not saying “Nazis are bad” is the worst thing that this president is doing? Maybe if Trump started talking about how bad Nazis are whenever he’s in front of a camera, people might stop calling him Orange Hitler and start noticing that he’s actually Orange Obama?

Mainstream Democrats and Republicans (who I’m tempted to just start referring to as “The John McCain Party” for simplicity’s sake) have been suffering from an increasingly bizarre form of amnesia about George W Bush, completely forgetting about his draconian, Orwellian bloody smear of a presidency and presenting him as a cuddly wuddly old man who gives candy to nice ladies. But even people who remember what a bloodthirsty monster that man is tend to forget that he actually campaigned on a “humble foreign policy” to get (kinda sorta) elected.

In 2008 Bush was succeeded by Obama, who’d campaigned against the warmongering of his predecessor and pledged to clean up the messes Bush made in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead he continued and drastically expanded Bush’s neoconservative war agendas, as well as expanding his Orwellian surveillance program while adding unprecedented persecution of whistleblowers into the mix as well. And now Trump, who campaigned against Obama’s interventionist foreign policy and harshly attacked his Syrian interventionism for years, is continuing Obama’s foreign policy and preparing to harshly attack Syria.

There is a pattern here. It isn’t hard to see. It is grinding its pelvis into our faces. The only reason more people don’t see it is because there’s so much narrative spin around US presidents.

If you listen to the mass media about Trump, you either believe that he is a Nazi Kremlin agent who presents a unique and unprecedented threat to America, or a populist hero who is fighting for the common man against the Deep State, depending on your echo chamber of preference. But if you mute the mass media narratives and just look at what’s happening without any partisan filters, what you see is soldiers, planes, bases and wars ships continuing to expand into other countries. You see more and more money, resources and creativity being poured into the war machine. You see a plutocratic class continuing to dictate the behavior of the US government. You see ordinary people continuing to struggle to make ends meet. You see an increasingly militarized police force, a continually expanding Orwellian surveillance system, dangerous and steadily increasing tensions with Russia, increasingly uninhibited ecocidal capitalism, increasingly unregulated exploitative corporations and banks.

You see the same bullshit with a different skin pigmentation.

I point this out not because I want people to lose hope, but in fact just the opposite. It can be soul-crushing to watch us continually hurtle toward disaster and dystopia despite hopeful gains being made in the political sphere, but that isn’t happening because the situation is hopeless, it’s happening because we’ve been looking in the wrong direction. You can’t out-vote a power establishment which has the entire political and government system locked down using alliances, campaign finance, corporate lobbying and mass media propaganda, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight them. It just means you can’t fight them on their terms using their tools.

In reality the entire Orwellian oppression machine which keeps us on the same track while creating the illusion of choice and democracy is held together by the thinnest of threads: it’s held together by narrative. What prevents us from creating real change is the constant narrative spin that is placed around world events by the plutocrat-controlled media who manipulate the way society thinks and votes. The entire empire is built upon that one thin thread of imaginary thought fluff.

What we can do, which would be very, very effective against the propaganda matrix we are imprisoned in, is begin a conscious, concerted grassroots information rebellion against the establishment propaganda machine which holds the entire system in place. Attack the establishment media’s lies and manipulations on all fronts using as much creativity as you’ve got so that you weaken the general population’s trust in the corporate propaganda they’re being mainlined day in and day out. As soon as people recognize that they are being manipulated by untrustworthy sources, they’ll become far more difficult to propagandize.

Without the ability to manipulate the way people think and vote and keep us all pulling the same levers day in and day out, political solutions become possible, and a whole array of other possibilities open up that we’d never been permitted to consider by the narrative matrix which was keeping us blinkered. And then we’d have a chance to stop dancing the same old dance while the same empire drones shuffle in and out of office wearing different masks, and, our minds no longer imprisoned by deceit, make that bold, daring leap into the unfamiliar at long last.


The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, or buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2