Whether he entirely meant them to be or not, the essential tenets of Donald Trump’s successful run for the presidency were the winning issues of securing our border, restricting immigration, promoting fair trade, and limited foreign intervention. They have become known among a certain class of core supporters as ‘Trumpism.’ Those of us who were inspired by Trumpism worked worked so passionately for Trump’s election not because we were necessarily fans of the man himself, but rather because he represented the best chance of implementing what we believe are the key measures necessary to save our nation from ruin.
We are now four months in and, depending on one’s perspective, Trump is either keeping his campaign promises (or, at least, is working towards them in a positive manner), or he’s betrayed his base entirely and is now a tool of the globalists.
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, a long-time Trump supporter who wrote the book “In Trump We Trust,” is gradually moving toward the latter camp. In a recent interview with The Daily Caller, Coulter says she is still hopeful, but “things don’t look good” at this point. “I got to tell you when I wrote ‘Adios America,’ I thought there was a ten percent chance of saving the country,” Coulter said. “On the evening of November 8, I thought, ‘Wow, we have a 90 percent chance now. This is a chance that comes along once every thousand years. We can save America now.'”
Coulter is now noncommittally “someplace between ten percent and 90 percent” on whether or not we can save the country.
Perspective is a funny thing. Especially if you supported Trump from the beginning, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine what life would be like now with Hillary Clinton as president, then watch all your criticisms of Trump miraculously melt away―at least for the moment. But we also must remember that the iron will likely never be as hot as it is now to move on the issues that won Trump the presidency.
But lately, what with Trump’s Syria missile strike, the MOAB drop on an ISIS tunnel system in Afghanistan and even General Mattis’s plan to send several thousand more troops to that failed nation, the issue of foreign intervention has again risen to the forefront. Trump’s strongest supporters seem nervous and ask: What happened to non-interventionist Trump? Is Kushner pulling the strings now? Have the ‘globalists’ finally blackmailed him? Or is it possible that Trump is playing chess while his enemies play checkers, nibbling at the edges of war without actually taking the poisonous bite? Is he just doing what is necessary to engender fear and respect for the United States again around the globe?
align=”right” Bush never made a compelling case for the war in Iraq. Trump should remember that if he feels compelled to engage abroad. It turned out that the sense of the American people on this mattered more than that of Bush and his experts. It is unlikely to be different for Trump.
Of all the things Obama got wrong, he did at least read the mood of the American people right by generally staying out of direct foreign military engagements.
Americans who remember history, and granted there are precious few of them these days, are not wrong to be nervous. It was barely a decade ago that George W. Bush lost both Houses of Congress essentially because he got America involved in a war that lost its meaning and one for which her people lost patience for waging.
What have we accomplished after over a trillion dollars and 4,500 American lives? Is Iraq truly better off than she was when Saddam Hussein held power? Is America better off without her blood and treasure and with exponentially more enemies abroad?
Bush never made a compelling case for the war in Iraq. Trump should remember that if he feels compelled to engage abroad. It turned out that the sense of the American people on this mattered more than that of Bush and his experts. It is unlikely to be different for Trump.
Of all the things Obama got wrong, he did at least read the mood of the American people right by generally staying out of direct foreign military engagements. The exceptions, like “regime change” in Libya, turned out to be disastrous not only for the Americans who lost their lives for nothing, but also for those countries and the surrounding nations, particularly Europe, now overwhelmed by the refugee crisis created at least in part by our meddling.
And with neocons like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who always seem bloodthirsty for another military intervention somewhere (anywhere!), tickling Trump’s ears with praise every time he lets slip the dogs of war, are there enough people around Trump to remind him that these things never end well?
What exactly is our vital national security interest in Syria? Is it simply to see Russia foiled? And if so, why? Is it to stop the refugee crisis? Because if so, toppling Bashar al-Assad certainly will NOT accomplish this and, since chaos always erupts in a power vacuum, may in fact accomplish quite the opposite. And in Muslim countries, as has been proven time and time again, the forces that fill that vacuum are always far worse than what we destroyed to create it. Would even the most strident neocon argue that Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi was worse than ISIS is now?
Which brings us to American troop levels in Afghanistan and the rumor that 3,000 to 5,000 more could be added to their number. While certainly nowhere near what they were a decade ago when upwards of 100,000 U.S. troops combed the deserts, the increase stokes the fear of those worried about a repeat engagement. Osama bin Laden is dead, so why are we still in Afghanistan? What vital American interest lies there? Have not the Afghan warlords grown rich enough from American largesse? Trump needs to explain.
It would be one thing if we were “taking the oil” or other resources from these places, as candidate-Trump said time and time again. But instead, we’re presumably trying to create ex nihilo the stability that is the basis of civilization. But that can only come from within.
In a recent Tucker Carlson Tonight appearance, Blackwater founder Eric Prince had an entirely different approach to America’s seemingly endless war, an “East India Company model.”
So, we’re spending as, as a country, $42 billion there this year. There’s 8,000 troops, three quarters of them never actually leave the base. If you look back in history, the way the English operated in India for 250 years, they had an army that was largely run by companies, and no English soldiers. So, very cheap, very low cost, very simple, very adaptable … We’ve fought for the last fifteen years with the First Infantry Division model, now we should fight with an East India Company model and do it much cheaper. There’s a trillion dollars of value in the ground…mining…minerals. And another trillion of oil and gas, and that’s the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, but yet, you don’t have a mining law and Afghanistan.
If the American people insist on having some presence overseas, perhaps this would be the way to go about it. Because like it or not and as much as President Trump is trying to change it, America is going broke and can no longer afford unprofitable overseas adventures. Let’s make it profitable, or let’s get the hell out