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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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Politics

Hey, Jeff Flake! The GOP is already toast!

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Hey Jeff Flake The GOP is already toast

At a tax-reform event held in Arizona over the weekend, soon-to-be ex-Senator Jeff Flake was caught on a hot mic whining about the imminent death of the GOP. Speaking to his good friend, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Flake said “If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.”

Unfortunately for Flake, his analysis is a day late and a dollar short. The GOP has pretty much been toast ever since Ronald Reagan’s last day in office. That’s when RINOs took over the party and turned it over to big-government Republicans like George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner.

Ever since Ronnie rode off into the California sunset, conservative values have been relegated to the dustbin of broken campaign promises only to be conveniently brought out every election season to steal money and votes.

Flake’s statement is wrong for a few more reasons: Roy Moore is a threat to people like Flake because he is running against the establishment, and the GOP has already become the party of Donald Trump.

For example, before he decided to pass on re-election next year, polls showed Flake was already likely to lose in the primary to Kelli Ward, who’s running as a Trumplican. Trumplicanism has replaced conservatism as the new identity of the Republican Party as it embraces all things Trump under the mistaken belief that his populist brand of politics is what defines conservatism today.

This sad reality is a direct result of RINOs like Jeff Flake.

Ironically, Flake confirmed the importance of the conservative values he long abandoned with the release of his book earlier this year, “Conscience of a Conservative,” a title essentially plagiarized from a book written by the man credited with reigniting the conservative movement back in the 1960’s, Barry Goldwater.

Because it’s election season, Flake hoped his book could be a sort of get-out-of-RINO-jail-free card as he attempted to at least give the appearance that he was the conservative we all know he isn’t. But hey, if you’re going to write about something you know absolutely nothing about, steal the words of someone who did, right?

Jeff Flake blames everyone but himself and his fellow RINOs for the sorry state of the GOP, but these lying liars are fully responsible for the rise of Donald Trump and the Trumplican Party.

The good news is that the GOP is already toast. Let’s replace it with a true conservative party.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

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News

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has agreed to resign. Update: He didn’t.

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Zimbabwes Robert Mugabe has agreed to resign source

Update

Once again, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has defied calls for his resignation, allowing a deadline set by his party to pass without a word.

Zimbabwe crisis: Deadline passes for Mugabe to quit as party leader

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42048412Members of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party are preparing to meet to discuss the possible impeachment of President Robert Mugabe, after a deadline for his resignation came and went on Monday.

The deadline was set by Mr Mugabe’s own party, Zanu-PF.

The embattled leader surprised Zimbabweans on Sunday, declaring on TV that he planned to remain as president.

Original Story

Reports came in yesterday that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe would be stepping down instead of going through impeachment, but in a speech on state-run television he did not step down. Now, a new report is coming in that he has agreed to step down, having drafted a resignation letter.

As has been the case for nearly four decades with the tyrannical strongman, reports about him are subject to change. ZANU-PF, the party that he led until yesterday afternoon when they removed him, have given him until noon today (5am EST) to resign or they will request impeachment. The parliament does not meet on Mondays, so if he doesn’t step down he likely won’t be tried until the next day.

Based upon information from a CNN source, the leader has reached an agreement that would give him full immunity and allow him to keep his possessions.

Further Reading

Source: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe agrees to terms of resignation

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/africa/zimbabwe-mugabe/index.htmlAn official source with direct knowledge of negotiations says that Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe has agreed to the terms of his resignation and a letter has been drafted.

The source said generals had given into many of Mugabe’s demands including full immunity for himself and his wife Grace, and also that he would keep his private properties.

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe has until noon to stand down or face impeachment | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-politics/zimbabwes-mugabe-has-until-noon-to-stand-down-or-face-impeachment-idUSKBN1DK0H1?il=0Zimbabwe’s liberation war veterans, who have been among the most vocal in calling for Mugabe’s resignation, will hold a media briefing at 9.30 a.m.

Moments after Mugabe’s address, war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa told Reuters they would lead public protests in the streets of Harare, cranking up the pressure on Zimbabwe’s ruler of the last 37 years.

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Guns and Crime

Charles Manson is dead

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Charles Manson is dead

The satanic ringleader behind several gruesome murders in California in 1969, Charles Manson, has died of natural causes Sunday, one week after his birthday. He was 83.

Over a five-week period in the summer of 1969, Manson’s minions carried out nine murders attached to his orders. Even after his incarceration, as many as 35 murders were committed by members of his cult. Though Manson did not participate directly in the murders, his leadership of the cult that killed on his orders earned him the death penalty. His sentence was commuted to nine life sentences when California annulled death sentences issued before 1972. He was sentenced in 1971 and spent 46 years in jail, costing tax-payers millions of dollars.

Further Reading

Charles Manson, mastermind of 1969 murders, dies at 83

http://beta.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-charles-manson-20171119-story.htmlManson did not commit the murders himself; instead he persuaded his group of followers to carry out the killings. The crimes received frenzied news coverage, because so many lurid and sensational elements coalesced at the time — Hollywood celebrity, cult behavior, group sex, drugs and savage murders that concluded with the killers scrawling words with their victims’ blood.

Los Angeles residents were terrified by the crimes. Before the killers were apprehended, gun sales and guard dog purchases skyrocketed and locksmiths had weeks-long waiting lists. Numerous off-duty police officers were hired to guard homes in affluent neighborhoods and security firms tripled in size.

Charles Manson is rotting in hell | New York Post

https://nypost.com/2017/11/20/mass-murderer-charles-manson-dead-at-83/Manson — who infamously wore a swastika tattoo between his eyebrows — had spent more than 45 years in prison after being convicted of directing his “Manson Family” clan of troubled, mostly female, followers to kill seven people in California in the summer of 1969. The dead included actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times.

“I am crime,” Manson proudly proclaimed during a collect call to The Post from prison in the mid-2000s.

Obituary: Charles Manson

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36091052When his mother was paroled in 1942 she lived with her eight-year-old son in a series of dilapidated rooms before unsuccessfully applying to a court to have him fostered. Instead he was placed in a Catholic boys’ home from which he ran away after just 10 months.

Manson’s robbery of an off-licence marked the beginning of a series of crimes, including armed robbery, and subsequent incarcerations in a number of institutions.

Manson Family Murders Fast Facts

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/30/us/manson-family-murders-fast-facts/index.htmlReportedly, during his childhood, Manson’s mother sold him for a pitcher of beer to a woman who wanted to have children. His uncle had to find the woman so that he could get his nephew back.

He later took his stepfather William Manson’s last name.

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