Trump Gives in on Afghanistan, Opens The War Up to No End

President Trump delivered a speech on Monday night, declaring the United States’ intention to not only continue the Afghanistan War, but to get rid of any timetables for exit.

The Afghanistan war is already the longest in American history, and now the president is changing entire exit strategy as he states in his speech, leaving the country has no date, but victory conditions:

As a result of our comprehensive review, American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically in the following ways: A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times, how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options.

We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.

This small quote from the speech speaks volumes. Trump is saying that along with not providing troop numbers or strategy to “America’s enemies”, Americans themselves will not receive any information on the plan for the war their children will fight. Said differently, “trust us”. I believe that he has no plan or strategy for victory, as there is no path to victory or even a definition for it.

Going back to the beginning of the speech, Trump talks about the American Republic and “coming together” as a country, as if he is still compensating for his comments after Charlottesville. He used the troops as an example of a team that comes together regardless of race and creed to defeat a common enemy blah blah blah:

American patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield – for our nation and for our freedom. Through their lives, and though their lives were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality. 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. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose.

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 are all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag and live according to the same law.

They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon on a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.

From there he does admit that the country is “weary of war” and that the sacrifice of blood has been great. He mentions that the war is the longest in the country’s history (17 years), and that the past strategy of “nation-building” was a fool’s errand. These comments were nice to see from a sitting president. If there is any silver-lining to be found here, it’s that maybe Trump is being more influenced by his nationalist generals than Neocon think-tanks. Of course, then he begins backpedaling:

My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. In other words, when you are president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. 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.

Any talk that Donald Trump “studied” anything “in great detail” is a complete joke. It was clear to anyone watching that the ouster of Steve Bannon from the White House (while it seemed that him and the president were still on the same side) showed that Trump was now completely surrounded and controlled by Washington insiders and the military. The meeting at Camp David was a signal to any non-interventionist watching that any idea of Trump reining in the empire had been lost. This speech is evidence of that.

Trump then states he arrived “three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan”.

Here Trump begins to sound like John McCain in the 2008 debates with his faux support for the troops that say “let us win” when he talks to them. Of course this is Trump just going to bat for his generals and Pentagon Inc. If only Obama had “given them the tools” to win the war, we would have rapped this up a long time ago.

Trump continues his mimicking, most likely getting this next conclusion from watching John Bolton on FOX News. He points to Obama’s exit of Iraq as “creating a vacuum” for Al Qeada, showing that he lacks any idea of nuance or grasp on the idea of “blowback”. Like the John Boltons of the world, if we only did more, killed more, “delivered Democracy” harder, Iraq would have gotten past the deep sectarian division the US invasion of 2003 helped escalate to a whole new horrific level.

The third strategy pillar opens up the war to the entire region. The president points to the Pakistan and its harboring of terrorists. He plays up the idea that we must double our efforts in “fighting terrorism” and focus our energy on this goal. To me, this just seems like shifting the idea of “nation building” to just an open-ended, mercenary-type war on anything the US (and its influential allies) deem “terrorism”. I don’t mean we will be using Blackwater to carry these missions out, but that the United States military is stripping off any cloak of “defense” and just offering its services to the highest bidder. He cites his speech in Saudi Arabia an example of this new found determination to “fight the terrorists”.

The speech continues from there and get even more vague. Trump talks about how the United States is not in the business of “nation building” and that “it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace.” At the same time, the United States will set the conditions for its exit. Really giving the Afghans no say in the direction of their nation.

He discusses the relationship between Pakistan and India, and how their nuclear capabilities makes the situation complex. He seems to be leaning the United States more towards the side of India, which is nothing new for US policy:

Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner of the United States. We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

The speech then takes a most disgusting turn, when Trump again brings up the idea of giving the military the “tools it needs” and how he “already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy.” He cites the liberation of Mosul, which is reprehensible considering the lose of civilian life by airstrikes and the tactics used by the Iraq Government Army.

Trump concludes by warning the Afghan government that our support is “not a blank check”. That in his warped mind, occupation of the country should not affect the corrupt government of Afghanistan from providing “real reforms” that the “American people expect”. What an ass. His view of America as still the “beacon on the hill” shines through here. Only the head of sick nationalists is a country that we have occupied for almost two decades supposed to say “thank you” and change itself to fit our view of it. Trump’s lack of knowledge gives him the idea that Afghanistan is the same type of “ally” as Europe or Saudi Arabia. You can feel the generals channeling through Trump’s shallow words.

Trump has already received backlash from his base because of this speech. Middle America is tired of sending their kids (most of which weren’t alive when the conflict began) to die to fight a war without end or with no real American interests.

I only hope that the reaction to this policy pushes the conversation away from the media hyped Civil War and “Russia Did It” narrative. But I fear that this is exactly what the Deep State and establishment wanted Trump to do. They have brought him to heel, and while they may not outwardly support him and his goofy antics, as long as the tows the company line, the attacks will subside.

The members of conservative side of America who go full in on hating this policy will come out on top. Rand Paul has already penned his disagreement, even furthering his clout among the Republican base.

Separately, if you are looking for a book to read on the history of the Afghan War, and why it is such sinkhole or “fool’s errand”, I will again point you to the new book by Antiwar.com/Libertarian Institute’s Scott HortonFool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan.

Full Speech Transcript
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The Overblown Reaction to the Boston Free Speech Rally

On this past Saturday, tens of thousands of people marched in Boston against “hate and bigotry”. Their plan was to march to Boston Commons and surround the “Free Speech Rally” which the media told them was going to be crawling with Nazis.

The original invite list did contain some speakers who could be considered “white nationalists”, Augustus Invictus for example. I believe Gavin McInnes’s “Proud Boys” and Cassandra Fairbanks were also supposed to show up and didn’t. If anything, these two could be considered “alt-right” for their denouncements of the Cultural Marxism takeover of US society, their views on Arab culture and their hate for establishment Republicans. But to use the word “Nazi” is just lazy.

The event coordinator told local news that “white nationalists” and “Nazis” were attempting to take over the rally, and that he denounced them wholly. After the event on Saturday, he put out a statement admitting that the event “fell apart” after the reaction to Charlottesville and the ridiculously inaccurate media coverage.

This is what I wanted to touch on.

On Saturday I spend most of the afternoon in my apartment, getting weekend stuff done. I decided to put on a Youtube live stream of the event, and I selected the CNN stream. The coverage was nauseating. The channel kept showing the huge crowd of counter-protesters marching to the Commons, selling this idea that they were on their way to another street fight. It was almost like the corporate media channel wanted violence to erupt for a ratings bump.

I would switch over to independent streams on the ground, watching these cameras walk through the crowd. Hearing people talk, it was as if this was a sport for them. They “couldn’t wait” to see some Nazis. I had a few laughs at their expense. The idea that 10-15 thousand people wasted their Saturday standing in a park waiting to virtue signal to their neighbors that they didn’t stand with Nazis….very satisfying.

As the day went on, things starting coming into view. Pictures of the “Nazis” began popping up on social media:

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What a group of savages!

The faces of the people in the crowd surrounding the Commons began to change, from that of smugness to that of confusion. “Where are all the bad people?”. “I was told is would be fun!”. “How is anyone gonna know I’m a moral person if the bad people don’t show up?”.

This continued until everyone’s favorite terrorist group, Anitfa, showed up. They were greeted with cheers from the more ignorant parts of the crowd. Then they began their antics. Videos started coming out of bystanders getting punched in the head, a woman had her American flag stolen from her, reports from the cops of urine being thrown.

The faces of the morality warriors started to change again. “Why am I here?”. “I didn’t sign up for punching people..”. “Maybe I’m on the side of violent asshats…”

Turning on the TV after the event and finding cable news almost disappointed in the lack of right-wing violence and Nazis flags was great to see. The backpedaling of the race warriors & virtue signaling Twitter celebs was also satisfying.

The readers of the country won out this weekend! The Left embarrassed themselves in Boston on Saturday. The media was exposed for what they are. All the people who hitched their wagons to Antifa look like morons this morning.

I will leave you with this screen grab from the Antifa of Boston’s Twitter page:

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Image source 12

Episode: The Empire Marches On

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As America fell into a state of hysteria the last week over the events in Charlottesville, the US imperial machine marched on. I get back to my roots in this episode. I speak briefly about the ouster of Steve Bannon and how that effects policy on Afghanistan. I hit on the literal fist fight at the top of world between India & China, Korean deescalation, the Saudi Crown Prince and I even give some reading recommendations.

NATO expansion continues in Europe, as the US Navy has decided to build bases in Ukraine and Moldova, showing America’s arrogance.

This week’s topics include:

Today’s episode.

The full archive of the show can be found here.

Steemit Is My Sanctuary from the Madness of Social Media

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I have been unhealthy in my passion for politics, history and geopolitical news since I read “Revolution: A Manifesto” by Ron Paul in 2007. My interest in history went back long before that, but I entered into the political realm with that election cycle. I took in any knowledge I could, trying to build a wealth of understanding of who the players were, how it worked, and what the correct view of it all was. I fell in love in libertarianism by reading Paul, Schiff, Woods and Murphy. Eventually moving on to the Jedi masters, Mises and Rothbard.

With the election of Barack Obama, I saw this has an opportunity to follow closely the first elected president in my post-college life. I would point out his errors, things I disagree with, actions he took that fell outside his promised goals. This was the way political involvement works right? When you pass your knowledge onto others and maybe fill them in on news they were unaware of, they say “thank you” and expand their own base of knowledge.

I was young and naive.

As time went on, I learned the truth. Politics is a sport of teams. It’s dominated by the emotional masses, feeding into the lies of their team leaders. Acknowledging their leaders are liars, but that they’re THEIR liars.

Moving into Obama’s second term, after watching him ignore the promises he made to his base, I was still confused why so many otherwise rational humans I knew could still support him. Not over another politician, but that they supported him at all. I never understood that from the beginning of my time in the arena. I had made a deal with Ron Paul from the moment I read his first book. “You turn your back on these principles, we’re done”. I think most of his supporters made this same deal, which was why he had a movement in the first place. I couldn’t understand why others never made the same deal with their political leaders.

As Obama moved on to drone killings of Americans, the NDAA, arresting whistle blowers, lying about Obamacare, feeding the racial divide, I still had some hope people would come around. I mean, you had the Occupy Movement. But that was quickly discovered to be a useless movement, as they forget to direct their anger at the Federal Reserve, instead asking the governmental banking structure of help.

With 2016 coming into view, I jumped behind Rand Paul. I immediately started to see the writing on the wall though. The intellectualism behind his father’s movement wasn’t there. Compromises of principle were already being made, playing into the game of politics became the strategy of his campaign.

Around this time the social media platform for political news and thought exploded. Youtube shows spanning the political spectrum sprung up with popularity, and everyone moved to their selective corners. Teams were molded, dogmatic loyalty became the politics of the day. Discussion and disagreement turned into emotional pleas and screaming.

The media had fed the left a steady diet of “Anti-Obama = Racist”, and they believed it. So when the right and actual progressives on the left dared to put up candidates of their own, they were shocked that racists still had a platform.

These “racists” began playing their game, getting behind their own liar and created their own buzzwords, pushing intellectual thought and debate to the internet. Making it almost impossible to reel the masses back in, the small minority of still rational actors found each other on the edges of social media and hung on tight.

This is where we are today. Where everyone is a “Nazi”, everyone is a “Communist”.

Pointing out nuance, or more importantly, pointing out hypocrisy is completed ignored. Only in this culture can John McCain get praise for “denouncing Nazis”, while supporting Nazis in Ukraine. When presented with this fact, no rebuttal is heard.

The list of people considered “alt-right” today is breathtaking:

  • Joe Rogan
  • Dave Rubin
  • Tim Pool
  • Glenn Greenwald

Anyone who wants to discuss the dogma of the left is on the right. This parroted in the media, in entertainment, by the establishment political structure. Members of the left and the right that wish to have discussion find themselves on the same side now. Fighting to get their message out.

I have recently been beaten down by this force of anti-intellectualism on social media. It’s nothing new for me, but my last straw has been reached. I can no longer post a thought or an article without a shallow comment from someone, repeating some half-truth mixed with a hint of moral superiority.

I have no issue with moral superiority, if you actual have consistent moral values. But getting high-fives for virtue signalling something as elementary as “racism is bad” while never looking inward to all the immorality you support is tiresome to combat.

So to sum up, THANK YOU STEEMIT for a platform of rational human beings with the mental capacity and intrigue to allow polite discussion.

Man Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Oklahoma Bank, Had Considered Federal Reserve Building

“This arrest is the culmination of a long-term domestic terrorism investigation involving an undercover operation, during which Varnell had been monitored closely for months as the alleged bomb plot developed,” federal prosecutors said in a statement. “The device was actually inert, and the public was not in danger.

Prosecutors said that during the investigation an undercover agent had posed as a co-conspirator and agreed to help Varnell build what he believed was a 1,000-pound (454 kg) explosive.”

Just like they do with “Muslim terrorists”. Help create the threat, then pretend to be the heroes. Easy way to create fear of a certain group or ideology with the public.

“The Terror Factory” by Trevor Aaronson is a great book chronicling the FBI’s sting (entrapment) program since 9/11, justifying their “terror war” budget.

Original source.

Episode: My Reaction to the Reaction of Charlottesville & The American Coup Factory

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I recorded this episode in the dead of night this past Saturday. I react to the tragedy in Charlottesville, and my reaction to the reaction to it. The virtue signaling was in full effect. If you didn’t hate Nazis enough for social media’s liking, not only were you a piece of shit, you were probably a Nazi yourself.

I also break down an article by Nick Turse over at TomDispatch.com. Turse exposes the United States government’s programs in which future leaders of foreign coups are created, to be activated whenever the Pentagon decides a country needs a change.

The episode can be found here
The full list of episodes can be found here or on ITunes.

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: The United States of Hysteria

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In this episode I let my emotions get the best of me. The reaction to Google firing, Trump being blamed for North Korea and my divorce with Facebook are the topics of the week. The anti-intellectual wave on all sides of the political spectrum has created an environment where anyone that wants to have more than a surface discussion about a topic would rather walk away from such opportunities. I have come to that point. In this episode I lay out my frustration with the inability to “get through” to people, and my new tactics moving forward.

Find the episode here and on ITunes. The full podcast page can be found here.

Google Firing: The Reaction is the Story

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As I write this, I’m listening to an interview being carried out by Jordan Peterson with James Damore, the recent Google employee who was fired after posting a 10 page internal memo at Google, stating is issues with the “echo chamber” of ideology at company.

Why Damore was fired is interesting. It wasn’t fired for posting an internal memo criticizing the business practices of the company he works for, which I would actually see as a firing offense and wouldn’t have much problem with it. He was fired for “promoting gender stereotypes”.

This is where it gets frustrating for me. So really, Google just fired a guy for “social brownie points”. I say that simply because the memo isn’t that radical. I’m not an expert on psychology or gender, but Dr. Peterson is. When you’re listening to a Jedi Master of these subjects go through the full memo and point out that the SCIENCE Damore uses to make his points is sound as fuck, the normal reaction for any person using logic and trying to come to a rational conclusion leans towards the view that Google overrated.

This has not been the case for most of the people or media outlets I’ve read discussing the subject. They are all quick to denounce Damore, calling him a “bigot”, “misogynist”, and of course, “racist”. He is simply a white male with “conservative” views. He should be silenced and cast out. Why? Because his memo hurt feelings. It hurt feelings of individuals who do not wish to discuss an issue, or even research it. They refuse to acknowledge another side of an argument, denying facts and truth along the way.

The problem with this is they are winning. The silence majority is speaking out more, but this minority of ultra-PC progressives are winning. They are in high positions in media, business, government and culture. This trickles down to the everyday American, who just wants to “fit in” and be invited to the next bar crawl. They don’t want to be the annoying loser that wants to have real dialog about a subject. Usually a subject brought up at the bar by someone else, who makes a quick comment that is greeted with nods from everyone around them. Again, fitting in is important. I don’t dispute that. But who are you fitting in with? Where is it appropriate to think for yourself? I personally think that is all the time, but groupthink and acceptance are powerful drugs.

As this story unfolds, we see that the author actually had more support for opening up this discussion than was originally reported. Of course this is the case. The speed at which he was denounced is also not a shock.

I don’t see myself as a very conservative person. I just happen to also not be surface oriented person either. In terms of these political/social issues, I continually find myself on the opposite side of thing than most of the people in my life. Maybe not even on the other side of the debate, but distanced from them in the way I react. The blind emotion and shunning of any viewpoint outside the dogma is scary to see. As someone who fears groupthink because of my libertarian principles in general, reactions to stories like this continue to baffle me.

EDIT: I’d also like to add the denial of science here, and the hypocrisy of the same group who screams at anyone that doesn’t believe that Climate Change is “settled science”. Seems like a new thing in 2017, selective use of science as a basis of your argument….

Episode: Sanctions, What Are They Good For?

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In this episode, I discuss sanctions and how they are sold to the general public. The recent sanctions placed on Russia (Trump’s trade war with China) are just the latest imperialist move from the United States Government….allies & common man be damned. I also touch on the US public’s rejection of the “Anti-Boycott Israel Act” and the continued selective outrage from the left in terms of the Trump presidency.

CHECK OUT THE PODCAST HERE!
Image Source

Sources:

Russian PM: “The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia”
Collateral Damage
69% Oppose AIPAC’s ‘Israel Anti-Boycott Act’
Trump Says U.S. ‘Losing’ Afghan War in Tense Meeting With Generals
Trump To Launch Trade War With China On Friday, Beijing Vows Retaliation
Trump: “Thank Congress That US-Russia Relations Are At All-Time And Dangerous Lows”
FOIA Dump Reveals Collusion Between Lynch, FBI And Media To Bury Bill Clinton Meeting
How Russia Could Strike at the US in 5 Simple Maps

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Episode: Billy and The Boys

In this episode, I update you on India-China, North Korea and ask why no one on Facebook is sharing videos from Mosul, Iraq. I get domestic and discuss healthcare, Rand Paul’s good week, and the trans-ban.

episode link

Sources

China Adds Troops To India Border, Will Defend Sovereignty At “Whatever Cost”
Why Is the World Not Outraged at Mass Civilian Death in Mosul?
North Korea claims all of U.S. in strike range as Trump says China has done “nothing”
One in every 45 people in Yemen is expected to contract cholera, Red Cross says
Thousands of worshippers surge into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, 113 injured
Rand Paul Blocks DOD Authorization Until September
White House Sacks Top Iran Hawk Amid Ongoing Disagreements