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Packed bags in DC

Krag

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Packed Bags in Washington: Mattis, Haley, and The Weekly Standard
Gary North - December 24, 2018​

Donald Trump is the Commander-in-Chief of the military forces of the United States. Everybody agrees on this. They agree with the Constitution. This is rare unanimity for Constitutional questions.
On December 19, the White House announced the imminent withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria. I don't think most Americans had any idea that we had 2,000 troops in Syria. Of those who did know we have troops there, probably fewer than 5% of them knew how many troops were there. Now we know. That is because they will not be there much longer. They are packing their bags.
Candidate Donald Trump always said that he did not see any reason for America to be involved in the Middle East. This is from a Left-wing site in August 2017.

On April 27, 2016, then-Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump used an invitation-only event at Washington’s ornate Mayflower Hotel to argue that presidents of both parties had gotten the US ensnared in too many costly, grinding foreign wars.
That, Trump promised, would change once he moved into the White House.
“I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V,” he thundered. “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”
The speech was part of Trump’s attempt to make a decisive break with the more hawkish and interventionist wings of his own party, which he blamed for the Iraq War and Washington’s icy relationship with Moscow. He wasn’t just trying to argue that he’d be a different kind of president than Democrats like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. He was also arguing that he’d be a different kind of president than Republicans like George W. Bush.
Flash-forward to last Monday night, when President Donald Trump announced that he would be sending more American troops to Afghanistan. He stressed that there would be no timetable for when those troops would come home, guaranteeing that the longest conflict in American history would drag on well into the future.​
This was nothing new. George W. Bush as a candidate had said that his administration would never get involved in nation-building. But that is exactly what his administration got actively involved in, beginning no later than September 12, 2001.

Trump voters could be forgiven for wondering what happened to the Donald Trump who roared through the GOP primaries — and later the general election — by promising an America First foreign policy that would shrink the US role on the world stage and spend more money at home than abroad.
Take Syria, where Trump has deployed sizable numbers of American combat forces and directly attacked the military of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. That’s a major change from Trump’s position during the Obama years, when he consistently urged the president to avoid getting the US involved in the country’s bloody civil war and instead use the money to fix what he described on Twitter as the “broken U.S.”


Since taking office, by contrast, Trump has stocked his inner circle with an unprecedented number of current and former generals — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — and deferred to them on issues ranging from torture (Mattis persuaded Trump not to bring it back) to the management of Trump’s White House itself (Kelly took the job less than a month ago but has already fired top aides like Bannon and sharply limited who has access to the president).
The three military men have also worked behind the scenes to reshape Trump’s thinking on an array of foreign policy and national security issues, a reflection of the fact that the president trusts the generals more than many of his other advisers — and that Trump doesn’t seem to actually have many deeply held beliefs of his own.​
Then, without warning, a week ago Trump announced that he will pull all troops out of Syria. He is also going to start reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan. In other words, he is going to start reversing the policies left over from Bush's administration in Afghanistan and Obama's administration in Syria. Whereupon former Marine General James "Mad Dog" Mattis got mad. He got really mad. He resigned in a huff. He released a hostile letter to the media.
The liberal media are all over Trump, as usual. They are coming to the defense of Mad Dog Mattis.
What really gets me is that Jim Acosta, who was barred from the White House press conferences by Trump, and who was allowed back in by a federal judge, has become Mad Dog's lapdog. The liberal Huffington Postis cheering him on.

But Trump is even more incensed about news coverage indicating he needs adult supervision, Acosta told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“He hates that letter,” Acosta said, citing a source close to the White House who “advises the president occasionally.” But he added that Trump is even more upset by the “conventional wisdom” that Mattis and some others in his administration “were sort of the adults in the room ... to keep the president from going overboard, to be a check on his impulses.”
Trump is “irritated by this notion here in Washington that he is sometimes in need of adult daycare,” Acosta added.​
The liberal media have been on the side of more wars, more money spent on wars, and the extension of interventionist American foreign-policy ever since 1946. This is nothing new. What is new is this: a Republican President, who is the most hated President in the history of the mainstream media, has returned to the policy that he recommended when he was running for office. He is being belatedly faithful to the people who elected him. Had the media been consistent, they would be praising him. He is doing what defenders of liberal democracies say should be done. He is enforcing a policy he was elected to enforce. But, no, that is not the meaning of democracy this time. That is childish behavior. He needs adult supervision. He needed to let Mad Dog run his show unimpeded at the Department of Defense.
One exception is Salon, which ran a sensible article on Trump and his now-departed generals. It pointed out of that 2,000 men are little more than an army brigade. The author is a West Point graduate. He is also the grandson of Gen. Lucian Truscott, who stood up to Patton during the invasion of Sicily, a scene made immortal by John Doucette in Patton. He nails it.

The arm-waving and hand-flapping and pearl-clutching in the foreign affairs and national security “communities,” not to mention in the Congress and among prominent Democrats, is something to behold. Significant portions of all those communities have long thought we didn’t have any business being in Syria in the first place. Not to mention fighting our 17th year of the so-called “war” in Afghanistan, from which Trump intends to remove some 7,000 American troops, another decision he apparently reached without consulting the Last Adult in the Room.​
The hypocrisy of all this is a delight to see. Trump changes his mind the way John Kerry changed his mind. The difference is this: Trump got elected, and Kerry didn't. But George W. Bush changed his mind, too. What is different this time is that Trump is changing his mind back to where it was in 2016. He had departed from his promise. He is now coming to his senses, however briefly. For this, the liberal media are outraged. Everything Trump does outrages the liberal media. They are in a state of constant outrage.
America has no economic or political stake in Syria. It has no "national interest" in Syria or Yemen. For almost 18 years, it has had no national interest in Afghanistan. But Bush and Obama did not see things this way. The neoconservatives did.
The neoconservatives today are on the run. Their major outlet, The Weekly Standard, is no more. Its staff was fired on December 14. Its final edition is dated today, December 24. On the cover is Nikki Haley, Trump's now-departed ambassador to the United Nations. She is sitting on top of a packed bag. The title: "Not the Retiring Type." Maybe she isn't, but the Weekly Standard is. It was sent packing by its owner. How the mighty have fallen. It was a major publication, as is testified by its Alexa ranking.


If Trump removes all troops from Afghanistan, the next President will not put them back in. Another conqueror of Afghanistan will have left in defeat. As Taliban fighters say: "You have the watches. We have the time." America's time is now clearly running out in Afghanistan. It has run out in Syria.
The Left hates Trump, so it will not cheer. The neoconservatives hate Trump, but it is temporarily on hold.


Gridlock beckons.
 

Buck

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Buck

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