Category Archives: Donald Trump

Why President Trump Has Struggled To Interest Voters In Ending America’s Futile Wars

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, War

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost most Americans nothing.” says The Economist. Relatively few Americans have been personally touched. “That is why they continue.”

For once, the left-liberal magazine credits President Trump for trying to bring an end to what are “unproductive conflicts” [to put it mildly].

… [the] country has been remarkably unscathed by two decades at war. Iraq and Afghanistan vets represent much less than 1% of the population. America lost eight times as many soldiers in Vietnam, in less than half the time, when its population was two-thirds the current size. The number of recent wounded is correspondingly modest and most have been looked after with immense skill and no expense spared, as is right. Otherwise, few Americans have been touched by the conflicts at all.
… the wars have been funded by debt. Most Americans have had little reason to think their country is even at war. And lucky them because war is hell. But this disconnect helps explain why the country’s civil-military relations are as distant as they are. It also helps explain how America came to be locked in such long and largely unproductive conflicts in the first place. Its voters started to reckon with the rights and wrongs of the Vietnam war—then demand accountability for it—only after they felt its sting. By contrast Donald Trump, who almost alone among national politicians decries the latest conflicts, has struggled to interest voters in them—or indeed end them.

Though mostly wrong on the details, the president raises an important question of the long wars. What have they achieved? After thanking Mr Butler and Mr Dwyer for their service on Veterans Day (a ritual neither wounded man greatly enjoys, incidentally), their well-wishers might want to ponder that.?

MORE.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

NEW COLUMN Updated (1/21): Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads

Critique, Donald Trump, Elections, English, Family, Journalism, Media, Political Correctness

NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.”

In its attenuated form, the column appeared on Townhall.com. If you prefer lukewarm, milquetoast, bland fare (as much as this writer can do those), adapted for conservative tastes, then stick with this version: “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage.”

Otherwise, read the piece in full on The Unz Review.  Or, look-away, FAST (as did others. Yes, the piece was spiked elsewhere).  The more I read Mencken, the more I know this: If he were alive today, Unz Review woudl be the only place that would dare publish him.

Excerpt:

The happening featured beefcake Donald Trump Jr. and bimbo Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The couple was on stage at UCLA to promote the president’s son’s “book,” when they were jeered by dissident Deplorables for shutting down the Question-and-Answer segment.

“Book” here is in quotations to denote “so-called,” because the staple, ghost-written political pablum, penned by ambitious political flotsam, relates to literacy as H. L. Mencken relates to conformity—not at all.

Predictably, Guilfoyle opted out of the conversational give-and-take demanded by her man’s hecklers, and went straight for the groin:

“I bet you engage in online dating, because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

Why “predictably”? Well, a supple mind may not be one of Guilfoyle’s assets.

Kimberley’s cerebral alacrity was seldom showcased when seated in Fox News’ legs chair. During one of her last televised appearances on “The Five,” a Fox News daytime show, Guilfoyle protested that, “the U.S. has already reduced its [toxic] ‘admissions’ enough.”

I give you Guilfoyle, verbatim, in her own words: “So, we can keep doing what we’re doing. We can keep reducing our admissions. …”

To Make English Great Again, you reduce emissions, not “admissions.”

For a while, it even seemed that Trump, looking for curve appeal in a press secretary, was going for Guilfoyle. She certainly thought so and said as much, implying, at the time, that she herself is “a great communicator … with deep knowledge.”

And no; I do not digress. This all goes to the Guilfoyle’s knee-jerk, flirty, aim-for-the-groin reaction to her hombre’s hecklers.

Tellingly, the taunting of Donald Jr. by dissident Deplorables was covered very differently by the American Daily Beast and the British Guardian.

Descriptions of political positions and personalities were prefaced by the Daily Beast with “edifying” editorializing. The hecklers the Beast described as “fringe-right.” Their alleged instigator and inspiration was said to be “a white nationalist.” Perfectly legitimate demands from this disgruntled audience for a “Q&A” and for “America First,” the Daily Beast deemed tantamount to a right-wing insurrection or civil war.

Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press.

What do you know? The hecklers at Trump Jr.’s book-flogging were also known, to the Daily Beast at least, as “Holocaust deniers.” As far as this reader can tell, the group taunting the empty suits on stage for refusing to answer questions had said not a word about the Holocaust. Nor had the disrupters been interviewed by the Daily Beast about their views on the Holocaust.

More to the point: Why is participation in our democracy predicated on one’s views on the Holocaust? What the hell does an individual’s opinion about that topic have to do with his right to solicit answers from members of Donald Trump’s politically active dynasty? I say this as a Jew whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder of millions of Jews that was the Holocaust. …

… READS THE REST.  NEW COLUMN is “Dissident Deplorables Refuse To Be Dittoheads.” Or, “Dissident Deplorables Deserve Decent Coverage,” if you can’t take the heat. 

UPDATE (11/21): 

On WND: “Is political participation predicated on views about the Holocaust?” “Discrediting dissent is all in a day’s work for the American press,” says this Jew, whose family tree was truncated by the industrial-scale mass murder that was the Holocaust. MORE …

Turkey’s Erdogan: Now Here Is A True Evil Aggressor

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East, War

“American leaders have been clueless about Recep Tayyip Erdogan. George W. Bush facilitated his becoming prime minister. Barack Obama proudly called him a friend. Donald Trump invited the invasion of Syria. The Department of Defense deludes itself into thinking the NATO ally of old one day will return. The State Department relies on its traditional instinct to appease”:

Warns Daniel Pipes:

Foreign policy poses the other great danger. Abducting dissident Turkish citizens, drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, and invading a neighbor point to an arrogance that, given Erdogan’s isolated position, leaves him highly exposed. Some foreign misadventure – perhaps the Syrian one – could lead to his political demise as well as that of the AKP.

But why no mention of the massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Kurds? Come to think of it, Erdogan’s “foreign misadventures” are reminiscent of another super power. Hmmm.

Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Vindman’s REAL Concern, In His Own Words

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Nationhood

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine.

So said Colonel Vindman in his opening statement before impeachment investigators, during testimony given “privately to three House committees—on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform.”

The words of Army Lt.-Col. Vindman in the first sentence, “I did not think it was proper,” sound like an afterthought to the second:

“I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine.”

Just saying …

MORE: “The Ukraine affair: A soldier’s word against Donald Trump’s in impeachment inquiry.”

* Image courtesy of MSNBC

UPDATED:

On CNN, former congressman Sean P. Duffy (R-Wis.) suggested that Vindman’s birthplace was important. “It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense,” Duffy said. “I don’t know that he’s concerned about American policy, but his main mission was to make sure that Ukraine got those weapons.”