Archive for Trump Concedes Afghan Policy to the Generals

Blah Blah, Blah Same Old Shit!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics, You Tube Classics with tags , on August 30, 2017 by playthell

A Master of Disaster

Trump Let’s Generals Make Afghan Policy

Like the unrepentant charlatan that he is, Donald Trump began his speech announcing a “new” policy in Afghanistan with a syrupy sweet call for peace and unity on the home front that was a paragon of duplicity, since he is the main cause of the growing internecine conflict that is engulfing America.  After all, Trump has just recently threatened to throw many men and women that are honorably serving in our armed forces because of their sexual orientation…a matter that has already been settled!

In his shameful amoral refusal to show any sign that he is even able to recognize right from wrong, fascist from anti-fascist, those who stand for freedom and those who would destroy it, his speech sound leaden, phony and unconvincing. Imagine how the many active duty servicemen, many of whom may have already served in a combat zones, must have felt being forced to listen to this pompous, narcissistic, draft dodging dunce.

In this regard, Donald Trump is dramatically different from what we have come to expect from US presidents since the rise of fascism in Europe during the 1930’s.  Indeed, Donald Trump, morally depraved ignoramus that he continually demonstrates himself to be, must look like a comic figure, a double-talking buffoon, to the young men in the Islamic world whose hearts and minds he must win in order to turn them away for the Jihadist movement and end the conflicts that presently ravage the middle East.  Yet the most potent weapon in this fight to convince the pool of angry young men on the “Arab street,” who are the primary source for Jihadi militants, is to offer a superior vision of a future which America can help them to realize.

Alas there was nothing in this speech, stiffly delivered from a script written by aides – the sound of which suggest it was authored in the Pentagon rather than the dangerously understaffed State Department – that offers hope for peace any time soon.  On the contrary it sounds like a prescription for perpetual war concocted by the Marine Corps Generals in whose hands he has placed the power to make policy.  From where I sit peering into the corridors of power from the outside, it looks like a military coup with the military command lifting a finger.  Which, given Trump’s near total ignorance of the structure and function of the vast governmental apparatus that he is expected to preside over, should surprise no one.  For clearly this clueless dude is dancing in the dark.

By word and deed Donnie Dimwit constantly reminds those who are paying attention and is not part of the untutored mob that comprises the bulk of his base, that he knows next to nothing of American history, and is too intellectually lazy to try and bone up.   He does not even understand that the reason why the architects of the US Constitution placed the military under civilization control is precisely because they did not want a military caste making foreign policy and deciding on matters of war and peace.  This is what the venerable Republican intellectual, ideologue and able apologist for their right-wing excesses George Will means when he says Donald Trump’s problem is that: “he doesn’t know what it is to know something.”

That role of deciding where and when the America’s armed forces will be deployed was expressly given to the President in the Constitution, who is named “Commander-In-Chief.   But the drafters of the Constitution were men of the 18th century that could not imagine either the vast military machine America has at her command, the size complexity of the United States, nor a President who is as unread, ignorant and incompetent as Trump. Plus the added handicap of an untutored electorate which is incapable of demanding that Congress put him in check.

Due to his inability to govern, which is evidenced by his cavalier decimation of the State Department and his suspicion of congressional power and intentions, Trump is overly relying on military men.  That’s why he made this announcement while Congress is on vacation and has made no attempt to seek Congressional counsel or approval for his escalation of the war in Afghanistan – a complex country that has dragged several imperial powers from the Romans, to the British, to the Russians, and now us into a quagmire of frustration and defeat. It would be no exaggeration to say that the dangerous combination of ignorance and belligerence that characterized Trump’s speech is troubling example of what the late Senator Fulbright meant by “The Arrogance of power.”

Trump delivered the speech as if he were a ventriloquists’ dummy, admitting that he had suddenly changed his mind about the position he had repeatedly taken over several years regarding the Afghan war – going from a passionate opponent to an enthusiastic proponent with nary a sign of doubt.   It was a stunning, albeit unintentional, confession of that his head is an empty vessel to be filled with whatever content those who has access to him choose to fill it with.  How else are we to understand the following statement in light of his vociferous and relentless condemnation of American policy in Afghanistan over much of the last decade?

My original instinct was to pull out,” Said Trump, “and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office; in other words, when you’re President of the United States.  After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.”

For those who have been paying attention to Trump’s public pronouncements it is all too obvious that there are two distinct characters wrapped up in one body: The scripted and unscripted.  The real Donald and the great pretender.  And for a person with no deep moral principles or serious intellectual convictions the role of political chameleon is fairly easy to negotiate.   Hence, I don’t believe his paradoxical political positions or moral contradictions causes him to lose sleep.  This fundamental amorality explains Trump he can fudge the issues raised by neo-Nazi’s bearing torches parading through a southern American city by night shouting Nazi slogans and calling for “white supremacy” – i.e. domination of the master race by law – conjuring up horrific memories of the German genocide against the Jews and the centuries old-tradition of murdering innocent black people in America!

Thus, his attempts to rally the American people around the flag with patriotic platitudes rang hollow:

“By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify to heal, and to remain one nation under God…They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed, and color to serve together — and sacrifice together — in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They’re all part of the same family; it’s called the American family.”

Since millions of Americans regard such sentiments from Trump as empty rhetoric, if not blasphemy, he avoided hecklers by choosing to speak before a captive military audience, who were ordered to be there and show deference to their Commander-in-Chief.   But a few choice words at a stage-managed event cannot begin to erase all the hatred and division he has sown among the American people.  One of the consequences of playing to the cheap seats all the time is that you begin to underestimate your audience.  And that was boldly on display as Trump delivered his simplistic saccharine sentiments to the nation via television.

Not only were his professions of brotherly love unconvincing, but his “new policy” on Afghanistan was even less so.  This is because there is nothing that Trump has ever uttered which convinces me that he has thought seriously about complex policy matters for a nanosecond. So, he came across like an actor putting on a show, interpreting a script authored by someone else for the occasion. Hence Trump was merely a vehicle for conveying ideas crafted by the Republican national security establishment – to which the airhead President contributed not a single important idea.

It does not require a rigorous examination in order to see that these ideas offer nothing new, they are little more than old wine in new bottles.  When we look between the hyperbolic rhetorical flourishes, we find the same old hackneyed clichés that has informed the foreign policy follies of the past: Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Iraq comes most immediately to mind.    One need only consider the following passage from Trump’s synthetic spiel in order to see where we are headed in Afghanistan:

 First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives.  The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and win.”

The obvious question, which has gone unaddressed, is what does victory mean in the Afghanistan theater, that graveyard of empires?  Listening to this surreal prattle, the thoughtful observer is forced to ask: “Where has this guy been for the last 16 years?”  He sounds as if he’s had his head stuck up his ass, a kind of anal Rip Van Winkle who slept through the events of the last decade and a half.   It would be hard to concoct a formula for failure even if one were dedicated to the task.   If doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is the definition of madness: Then America has gone mad…because this is the same old shit!

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Click on Link to see Trump’s Speech

 

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 2017