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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/22/17

Trump on Afghanistan

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In his speech to the nation about Afghanistan on August 21, 2017, Tweeter-in-Chief Trump, reading from a teleprompter, said (and did not say) a number of remarkable things. I am remarking on a number of them here. One might also note that it was remarkable that a speech of such import was given, not from the Oval Office, but in front of a large number of troops (some of whom will surely be dying in the coming months and years, in Afghanistan).

1. The U.S. will be there until victory is achieved, going against a campaign promise.

2. He did not define "victory."

3. He did say that there will be "no blank check," which implies that the U.S. will not be there indefinitely, whether or not the non-defined "victory" is achieved, reversing the reversal of his campaign promise.

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4. So I guess for certain self-described members of the U.S. left who supported Trump in the 2016 election (and still do) because in their view he was the "peace candidate," this might come as a disappointment. Of course, whether that support will continue depends upon whether his true position is "1" or "3," above. Some of these folks are actually mourning the departure of the fascist Steve Bannon from the White House because he did not support this particular intervention. (But don't worry, you folk. When Trump resigns just before the Mueller heat reaches him, pardoning all, including himself, and then proceeds to set up his own proto-fascist political party, Bannon will be right back at his side, regardless of the Breitbart war-of-words already going on.)

5. The timing was notable. The speech got on his schedule so quickly that the Dominionist V-P Mike Pence had to be recalled from a long-planned trip to Latin America (that was presumably made to strengthen the pro-US imperialist forces now active in a number of Latin American countries).

6. Thus could we have been seeing another use of the President's favorite, a Weapon of Mass Distraction, say from the "reaction-to-Charlottesville" mess?

7. And what was that pean to "national unity" and against "hate" all about, when the latter is what the President and his party are all about?

8. He spent lots of time on ISIS (which is not in Afghanistan), while totally ignoring the fact that contemporary terrorism can be, and is organized in many countries around the world, including the U.S. (see Dylan Roof and the murder of an anti-racist/Nazi protester in Charlottesville).

10. On the other hand, he did not use the term "radical Islamic terrorism," which I though was supposed to distinguish Republicans from Democrats, especially President Obama, in dealing with such organizations as ISIS.

11. Did you notice the hair? Totally different comb-over and color. Designed to be not-so-threatening?

12. Seemed to confuse ISIS with the Taliban, which, unlike ISIS, is an indigenous far-right-Islamic nationalist organization.

13. Speaking of the Taliban, its religious ideology/doctrine should be very familiar to the U.S. Christian Right, for it is similar in many ways to theirs, especially the Dominionists like Mike Pence.

14. He said that he will get more money to support U.S. operations in Afghanistan from the U.S. European allies (and any European leader who agreed to such a thing would be toast at their next election).

15. He threatened the U.S.'s staunchest ally in South Asia, Pakistan (which, like North Korea, happens to have nuclear weapons, which he just happened not to mention.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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