If Americans are tired of 16 year war, how will they feel about another decade or two? When will they wake up?
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) August 22, 2017
Forget his campaign rhetoric. Forget ‘America first’. Forget ‘Drain the Swamp’.
The swamp, rather than being drained, has defeated Trump. They have got exactly what they wanted – incessant, relentless, pointless war.
The longest war in American history was not given an end date by the President who once declared it a ‘terrible mistake’. He ridiculed and denounced the Afghanistan quagmire in his campaign, and a war-weary US public – who were sick of the conflict that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 US soldiers and 31,000 Afghan civilians – flocked to the polls in order to support his anti-interventionist cause.
The big business of war, however, always wins the argument.
Trump’s initial skepticism towards remaining in Afghanistan was reportedly dispelled during a meeting arranged by his new former-Marine General Chief-of-Staff John Kelly – in which attendants National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis managed to convince Trump to send an extra 4,000 troops to Afghanistan. Before this congregation, Trump was dogged in his stance that the war should slowly be dissolved.
And thus, one man described as ’the most celebrated soldier of the Iraq War’ and two former marines (one of whom goes by the nickname ‘Mad Dog’) managed to put the love of war back in the White House in a single afternoon.
For those nostalgic for the Obama and Bush years, take solace in the fact that one thing will never change in the White House; military voices will always drown out all others.
The wrath of Bannon
The architect of Trump’s ‘America First’ anti-interventionist policy, the recently fired Steve Bannon, has returned to his beloved Breitbart News and is launching an offensive on those in the Trump administration whom he believes are betraying the base that elected him.
Breitbart is famously combative and draws a devoted audience accountable for over 80 million website visits a month. Bannon certainly doesn’t lack a platform to deliver the ‘war’ that he promises.
Breitbart declared Trump’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan a ‘flip-flop’ this morning. Additionally, British UKIP politician Raheem Kassam – who was a key aide to Nigel Farage during his successful Brexit campaign – wrote a column deriding General HR McMaster as the murky figure responsible for pushing the pro-Afghan cause.
McMaster famously removed Bannon from the National Security Council, and in retaliation Bannon underwent a vendetta against him – leaking various tidbits to the press in order to undermine his interventionist agenda.
It seems that Bannon’s grudge against McMaster and co will not die as he leaves the White House, but instead will change stage. A war which was once covert will now be fought in the public sphere, using the alternative media.
Grab the popcorn.
Leak of Nations | War in Afghanistan