On this edition of Parallax Views, we welcome a guest that has an inside track within the beltway. Namely, Ret. Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson. For the unfamiliar, Col. Wilkerson served as the Chief of Staff under Secretary of State Colin Powell during the George W. Bush administration. He also served 31 years in the U.S. army and teaches as an adjunct professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary. Since retiring from the military Wilkerson has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq War as well current U.S. foreign policy in other parts of the Middle East and around the world. Right now, he is working with the Transition Integrity Project, among other groups, to "War Game" possible scenarios in which the 2020 Presidential election doesn't end with a peaceful transition of power.
Among the topics covered:
- The Transition Integrity Project (TIP) and possible scenarios that could cause chaos in the immediate aftermath of the general election. Is Trump not allowing a peaceful transition of power just alarmism? What are the simulations, or what the press calls "War Games", done by the TIP and what insights can it give us about human decision making processes in relation to governance?
- Col. Wilkerson mention Bill Barr's Christianity conservatism (or is it Christian Nationalism?) and groups like the conservative Catholic sect Opus Dei. What does it mean for U.S. governance? Thoughts on Steve Bannon, Hillsdale, and more
- What is the relationship between the past and the Age of Trump present? What role do the Presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, etc. have in laying the groundwork for the Donald Trump White House. Predatory capitalism and the endless war state.
- What to make of foreign policy under Trump? What is the state of foreign policy in the U.S. and relations with North Korea, Iran, Russia, etc. The Trump administration's "Maximum Pressure" campaign on Iran and the fallout it will likely create in our relationship with Iran. The ruination of agreements under Trump, the Venezuelan regime change efforts, and Trump's threatening of Russia.
- President Barack Obama's foreign policy, Col. Wilkerson's telling experience with Obama, Obama and his National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes vs. the Washington, D.C. foreign policy "Blob" and the "D.C. Playbook"; the foreign policy consensus within the beltway and its pro-war bias
- What is the extent of foreign influence on U.S. foreign policy, for example Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? The strange alliance between Christian Zionists and Israel; the belief in end-times prophecy that drives Christian Zionists like Pastor John Hagee
- The relationship between Iran and the U.S.; why can't the U.S. and Iran have a non-hostile relationship?; the role of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other countries in the hostile relationship between Iran and the U.S.; influencing buying and money; is their any possibility of a non-hostile relationship with Iran in the future after Trump's dismantling of the Iranian nuclear deal?; Wilkerson's view, based on experience, that Iran is extremely rational and willing to work out a decent relationship
- The New Cold War with China? Nuclear weapons and China; we are at a moment where science can identify and fix our problems... but if we don't take that opportunity it may spell our peril.