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Stupid complaints about Trump’s Afghanistan speech

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If you want an in-depth breakdown of complex military strategy, I’m not your guy. But there are a few simple points from President Trump’s speech on Afghanistan yesterday that people are either misinterpreting or missing entirely, and when even a rube like me can see what’s wrong with your argument, you might have a problem. Don’t be consumed by tribalistic instincts to love or hate the speech, whether based on your feelings of Trump or of intervention in general.

To be clear, I’ve been tough on Trump many a time. The fact that I have to write that disclaimer any time I let him off the hook is silly and absurd, but whenever I don’t, I get accused of sycophancy. If that’s your game (you know who you are, Mr. Commenter), put away the venom and use your brain for a moment. Most of you are fair-minded, however, and I appreciate your hearing me out.

First off, we can’t blame Trump for the situation he inherited in the Middle East. I don’t care whose fault it was or what should have been done earlier, but to act like Trump has a simple decision to make in a war that predates his presidency by 16 years is unfair and unrealistic. As Steve Berman points out, Trump demonstrated on Monday that he feels the weight of his office on this issue. Trump has never served in the military, but he has 1) a tremendous amount of respect for those who do, perhaps his best quality, and 2) several generals on his staff that appear to be influencing his military strategy. This is excellent. Trump does not have the expertise to make decisions for Afghanistan alone. The fact that he seems to be involving Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly so heavily in this process is comforting. This sentiment materialized as one of my favorite lines from Trump’s speech: “micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles.” Let the generals do their jobs.

Many are quick to condemn the shipment of 4,000 additional troops, and maybe that’s not the best decision (I’m not the strategist, remember), but this is just an extension of the first point. That increase came at the request of Trump’s generals. When you’re the president, particularly one without military expertise, and your commanders ask for reinforcements, the correct answer is always: “I’ll get you those troops as soon as possible.”

Almost everyone is questioning, “Why didn’t Trump tell us the specifics of his plan?” I have a better question: why do you feel entitled to military intel? What does it benefit the American public to know every detail of the war effort? Would it not be detrimental to our own interests to broadcast how many troops will be deployed, when they’ll arrive, what vehicles they’ll use, which tactical strategies they’ll implement, and when they’re coming home? It is absolute lunacy and baffling naivety to support the spreading of this kind of intelligence so our enemies can hear it. They shouldn’t know what they’re up against; they shouldn’t be able to just wait us out. As Ronald Reagan expressed, “I don’t think we should’ve used nuclear weapons [in Vietnam], but I think the North Vietnamese should’ve gone to sleep every night worrying about whether we would.”

My favorite moments from the speech came in Trump’s iterations of this philosophy. We will finally be switching from Obama-style arbitrary timetables to real-life ground conditions, something for which I’ve been screaming for years. We won’t tell our enemies when and where we’re going to attack, “but attack we will.” This is excellent. I don’t need to know my military’s next move. All I need to know is that my military is in good hands, and with Trump putting his generals back at the helm, that seems to be the case.

For those upset that we’re not pulling out of Afghanistan entirely, come back to reality whenever suits you, preferably soon. We have no obligation nor plans to liberate the Middle East, but we have a vested interest in ensuring our country doesn’t fall prey to increased terror. Clintonian “hands off” strategies in the Middle East led to 9/11, and I’m not in favor of making that mistake again. Obama’s timetable approach led to more casualties than occurred under Bush. Clearly neither is the answer.

Finally, Trump’s speech differed from Bush’s rhetoric in one huge way: nation-building. We’ve learned that “the desire for freedom” does not, in fact, reside “in every human heart” — at least not enough to make them fight for it. Trump announced that we won’t be seeking to establish democracy abroad, and that’s terrific. We will inevitably build up Afghanistan somewhat as we seek to rid it of terror, but only insofar as it benefits our mutual interests. This is neither warhawking nor isolationism; it’s just smart.

Trump’s speech was excellent. I feel like I always do after a good first installment of a trilogy: that was a nice setup, now I hope they capitalize on it. The speech had a few minor problems, but those have been blown up by enough commentators, in my opinion. Someone needs to stand up for what Trump actually said, and this time, what he actually said was spot on.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jon

    August 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    I do have a couple of questions I would like to ask if I may without having my motives judged. Did Trump give the American people a clear reason why we are in this 16 year long war that has claimed so many lives of the men and women who serve in the military? Did Trump define what our clear objectives are? Also, did Trump give a clear and concise picture of what victory looks like? Say what you want but as a citizen and a father of military age bouts I feel I do deserve answers to those questions.

  2. Richie Angel

    August 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Jon,
    I’ll break my responses into numbers to make it easier to keep track of what I’m referring to.
    1. I don’t think Trump needs to give a reason why we’re in this war, other than that we’re in it now, that’s not his fault, and it could be catastrophic to pull all troops out immediately. He’s also following the advice of his generals, so I can agree with that.
    2 and 3 are essentially the same. Trump clarified how victory will now be defined. Unfortunately, it’s by necessity more open ended than we might like, but again, that’s not his fault. Ben Shapiro did a great job breaking that down today if you want to check that out (ep. 367).
    To me, those questions were answered. Much more could jeopardize our troops and give the enemy an upper hand. I like to be in the know, but I don’t feel entitled to specific military intelligence like how many troops, when, where, or how.

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Everything

Frathouse Conservatism Sucks

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I’m going to do a lot of offending in this column so viewer discretion advised if you are a snowflake on the left or right. The problem in the Conservative movement that needs addressing is the number of young Conservatives rising to prominence who lack any real depth or articulate principles. I dub thee “Frathouse Conservatism” because the problem largely stems from campus organizations. I am 22, so this isn’t some Gen Xer ranting about Millenials and Gen Z. In fact, I do not boast about how much better I am. Rather I point out the cause of the problem and point to the solution.

Rejection of Worldview

Western civilization is founded on the intersection of Athens and Jerusalem. The founding father’s took ideas of John Locke. Read this excerpt from the Second Treastie Chapter 2:

that self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends;
and, on the other side, ill-nature, passion, and revenge will carry them
too far in punishing others, and hence nothing but confusion and disorder
will follow, and that therefore God hath certainly appointed government
to restrain the partiality and violence of men. I easily grant that
civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the
state of Nature, which must certainly be great where men may be judges
in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined that he who was so
unjust as to do his brother an injury will scarce be so just as to condemn
himself for it. But I shall desire those who make this objection to remember
that absolute monarchs are but men; and if government is to be 

the remedy of those evils which necessarily follow from men being judges
in their own cases, and the state of Nature is therefore not to be endured,
I desire to know what kind of government that is, and how much better
it is than the state of Nature, where one man commanding a multitude
has the liberty to be judge in his own case, and may do to all his subjects
whatever he pleases without the least question or control of those who
execute his pleasure? and in whatsoever he doth, whether led by reason,
mistake, or passion, must be submitted to? which men in the state of
Nature are not bound to do one to another. And if he that judges, judges
amiss in his own or any other case, he is answerable for it to the rest of
mankind.

The Conservative worldview is largely pieced together by John Locke. Mankind in fallen. Government can’t correct mankind’s fallen nature, because government is made up of fallen men. Fallen men, if given arbitrary uncheckable authority, will commit injustices. Therefore it is most ideal that government be limited in its purpose. It’s purpose is to protect inalienable rights and to navigate violations of said rights.

Conservative worldview hinges on accepting the premise that mankind is fallen. One need not be religious to accept this premise. Many Conservatives unknowingly accept fallen nature to be true while others fully embrace this premise. The Frathouse Conservative supplements this premise if not outright rejects the notion altogether. Instead of mankind being intrinsically flawed, the state is intrinsically flawed. This substituted premise often results in the same conclusions as far as policy goes, but rejecting a fundamental pillar of the Conservative worldview is the root of Frathouse Conservatism’s inferiority.

Rejection of Mission

Frathouse Conservatism confides Conservatism to simply small governance. This directly stems from the rejection of the fallen nature. Conservatism, in accepting mankind’s state, necessitates the pursuit of living to a higher standard. All of the founding fathers believed in living high moral standards, despite their diverse religious beliefs. The founding fathers wanted no part in debauchery. Frathouse Conservatism may instead celebrate immoral behavior under the guise of limited government. More distinctly, Frathouse Conservatism is ready to lampoon deviant moral behavior.

Frathouse Conservatism is not as purposeless as it may seem. The movement does contain a mission, however vein it may be. The best way to phrase it is in their own words “owning the libs!” In accomplishing this, there are no boundaries or lines not to be crossed. The use of personal attacks is often substituted for substantive argument. A classic example of this is Tomi Lahren who believes that social issues are a waste of time. Her column on social issues showed a very misinformed understanding of the last three presidential elections and a concern for only illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is an issue where conservatism favors one side. There are many worldviews that could come to the same conclusion that America needs to curb illegal immigration. Some people are concerned about security, others cost. There’s also a principled belief in rule of law. And of course nativism exists. Not all of these are necessarily conservative. But the mission of Conservatism isn’t to win elections as Lahren suggests it should be. The perpetuity of Republicans in office has shown to be a detriment to Conservatism. Rather Conservatism seeks to better society, largely through small governance. Jesse Kelly understands the mission in how he responded. Ben Shapiro’s response was also worth noting

One Trick Ponies

If were ranking top issues for the Conservative cause, opposing abortion is one of them. But not everyone on the side of life is a Conservative. In my experience arguing abortion with the pro-abortion, there arguments shift from logical fallacies to denial of moral personhood for all of the unborn.

These types of arguments do not have substantial logical backing, especially when placed in perspective with cultural practices and norms. The pro-abortion side is simply not the logical side of the debate. One doesn’t have to be a Conservative to come to this conclusion. Many people can articulate well thoughtout pro-life arguments. This doesn’t make them a great Conservative. A great Conservative can articulate Conservative positions on various issues with intellectual consistency. The Frathouse Conservative cannot.

Abortion is not the only trick these ponies may know. It’s similar to libertarians who are libertarian because of marijuana. There’s also immigration (back to Tomi Lahren) and race (Candace Owens). And then there are the snowflakes whose mission is to trigger the snowflakes. And upon being challenged, they hit that block button on twitter. And of course there’s the everyday Trump bandwagoners like CJ Pearson who wants to line his own Paypal account.

Tactics of the Left

Candace Owens is a classic example of a Frathouse Conservative. She is very capable of explaining why she walked away from the Left. There is nothing wrong with that. What I have issue with is two things:

  1. Her reliance and profiting from Identity Politics
  2. Smear on those who think differently

We get it, you’re black. Ted Cruz is hispanic. You don’t see him using his race to pander to “his” group. Conservatives should not be seeking attention for their race, rather, they should be seeking attention for their ideas and merits. Candace Owens has little of either. She can explain her life story. That’s fine, but she’s wrong to assume black people can’t freely be Democrats. Further more, her tactics are of the Left.

The Left has successfully employed identity based labels to attack those they disagree with. Owens employs the same. Conservatives should stay away from these tactics.

Solution

Frathouse Conservatism aims to own the libs. The libs do a good job at owning themselves and eating their own. The Frathouse Conservative places too much uniqueness in themselves. Demographically speaking, the coming generations of voters are likely to be more Conservative because Republicans are having more kids. The baby gap has been written about for over a decade now. After all, the Left supports abortion, gay marriage, and free birth control. These three things are not conducive to bearing children. Mathematically speaking, it is likelier for a child now to be raised in a Republican household. This doesn’t mean, they will grow up Conservative. However this does mean a young Conservative, like myself, is nothing special or surprising. Sorry to disappoint.

The solution begins by first realizing that a young Conservative is nothing unique, therefore not seeking attention for it. Don’t go to colleges that suppress free speech(yes this is something you can research), and don’t treat college like a summer camp. Work during school, and if you’re not working during school, you better be more articulate than Amanda Kemp and half the writers at Lone Conservative. You have the time.

With that said, everyone wants to be Ben Shapiro, but no one wants to put in the same work that Ben Shapiro put in. Shapiro is a hardcore writer and reader. The Frathouse conservatives on Twitter are typically neither. And through reading and writing, education and practice, the Frathouse Conservative can graduate to being an actual Conservative.

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Politics

Breaking free of the GOP Matrix

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If you’re a Facebook user, you’re no doubt familiar with the “memories” feature. Users who click this link can look back at posts and other activities made on a specific date in years past. For example, on July 18th, 2018, I was able to look at activity from July 18th, 2017, July 18th, 2016, and so on.

While I often find little value in these brief trips down memory lane, yesterday’s journey reminded me of why I do what I do as the Strident Conservative.

On July 18th, 2016, the Republic National Convention kicked off its coronation of a New York liberal as its candidate for president. As a #NeverTrump conservative at the time, I had great hope that the #FreeTheDelegates effort would save the GOP from itself.

Using the movie The Matrix as an example in a piece I wrote that day, I challenged conservative delegates attending the convention to break free from the Republican Party and to rescue others trapped in the GOP Matrix.

In the movie, we learn of a world created by machines that makes slaves of the human race and uses them as fuel to feed its existence. We also learn how “agents” of the Matrix hunt down and destroy those trying to escape, but how one man, Neo, defeats the agents and sets the captives free.

Likewise, I wrote how I saw Americans as slaves to the Washington machine to be used as fuel to feed its existence. I also observed how party leadership served as the agents working to destroy conservative who were trying to escape and how only being like Neo would we have any hope of escaping the GOP Matrix.

Obviously, the Matrix was victorious two years ago. And unfortunately, the machine world of the GOP has grown even more powerful as Trump, much like agent Smith in the movie, has seized complete control of the GOP Matrix. At the same time, party leadership continues to play its role as agents bent on destroying conservatives and protecting the machine.

So, why am I happy about this trip down memory lane? Because it’s a reminder to me that the fight’s not over. And as we approach the mid-term election in November, it’s also a reminder that today is an opportunity to free another conservative from the GOP Matrix.

That’s where this Neo is. Are there any other Neo’s out there who want to join me?

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Media

Trump failed with Putin due to anti-Trump Republicans and fake news

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Following Trump’s bizarre performance at the Helsinki Summit with his BFF Vladimir Putin, bi-partisan condemnation of his press conference was swift and severe after he expressed his willingness to accept Putin’s word that Russia didn’t interfere with the 2016 election, despite findings by US intelligence proving otherwise.

Not to worry, though. Following this backlash, and now that he’s home and a safe distance away from Putin, Trump’s false bravado was back on full display yesterday as he attempted to backtrack from his previous statements about Russian interference.

According to Trump, he didn’t reject US intelligence in favor of Russia; he simply misspoke. He’s always believed Russia interfered. He’s just a victim of the English language.

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative. So you can put that in and I think it probably clarifies things pretty good.

“I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections.”

But Trump’s difficulty with contractions isn’t the only reason for this apparent misunderstanding. Not at all. The real culprit, as is always the case when the news is unfavorable, is the “Fake News” media.

Sadly, criticism of Trump’s Helsinki remarks has been noticeably missing in some so-called conservative circles in Washington and in the media. Not only that, they have joined the Trump echo chamber in defending him.

For example, according to Trump, Sen. Rand Paul agreed with his claim that the Mueller investigation was responsible for Trump’s troubling comments.

Additionally, in an interview with Trump Pravda (FOX News), Paul called out Republicans who criticized Trump, labelling them pro-war and/or anti-Trump for doing so.

“Republicans that are making the criticism are either the pro-war Republicans like McCain and Graham or the anti-Trump ones like Sasse … They are motivated by their persistent and consistent dislike of the president.”

In the House of Representatives, so-called conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus embraced Trump’s “Fake News” mantra, arguing that the media’s criticism of Trump’s statements had overshadowed his accomplishments concerning Russia. At least, that’s how Freedom Caucus member Rep Warren Davidson sees it:

“The reality is people are upset about what President Trump said, but they’re not giving him credit for what he’s done.”

Is it just me, or shouldn’t what you say jive with what you do? I think they call that walking the talk.

Meanwhile, sounding like he wrote Trump’s “Fake News” talking points, the conservative talk show host formerly known as Rush Limbaugh, also blames the media for Trump’s pro-Russia comments, saying that their “embarrassingly shallow and puerile, infantile questions” were responsible.

So, take heart, America. Trump didn’t mean what he said when he said it. He was simply playing 3-D chess with the Russian President, and anyone who thinks otherwise only does so because they are pro-war, anti-Trump, and they believe fake news.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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