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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.

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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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Judiciary

Census case will demonstrate if the Supreme Court is political or not

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Census case will demonstrate if the Supreme Court is political or not

There is an unnecessary amount of controversy surrounding whether or not a citizenship question can be added to the upcoming United States census. But now that it’s here, the outcome of the case will say a great deal about the makeup of the Supreme Court and whether or not it has become a body that is driven solely by politics despite the intent of the founders to make sure it never would be.

On the surface, this case seems rather mundane. It’s just a question about the citizenship status of individuals. Some may be wondering what the big deal really is. In reality, it’s a very big deal. Census data is used to determine pretty much everything as it pertains to the relationship between the federal government and the states. Grant money, House of Representative seats, and district allocations are among the many changes that will all be determined by the census.

From a purely political perspective, this should be a no-brainer to conservatives. Of course the question should be included. It’s unfair for states who allow a higher level of illegal immigrants to gain more power as a result. These are not voters (at least they’re not supposed to be). It’s idiotic to give states a great incentives to bring in as many illegal immigrants as possible, so if the presence of a censorship question lowers the numbers reported, that’s not a bad thing.

Politically, the citizenship question is a winning play for conservatives.

But here’s the problem. The judiciary is not supposed to be driven by politics. Their job is to interpret the Constitution and the law of the land to determine how it’s to be enforced by the executive branch and whether the legislative branch is in line with the intent of the Constitution through the laws they establish. By those criteria, the Trump administration has a major problem with the citizenship question. The Census Act clearly states Congress is to be given notice of changes to the census three years in advance. They were not. The citizenship question was not part of the original list sent by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in March, 2017. It was sent in the March, 2018 list, but that’s not enough time for Congress to review if we’re going solely based on the letter of the law.

This is an insanely stupid aspect of the law; it shouldn’t take Congress three years to read a question and determine whether or not they need to make new laws as a result. But it’s the law nonetheless and Ross broke it by not including the question in his original list. It was a rookie mistake made by someone who really shouldn’t be in his position, but what’s done is done.

Part of my heart says the censorship question is righteous and does not violate the Constitution, therefore it should be allowed. But the other part of my heart longs for a judiciary that is truly apolitical, one that does its job as laid out in the Constitution. If that’s the measure of this case, then the Administration clearly did not meet the standards set forth in the law to add the question to the census.

Where I take solace is knowing the balance of political bias within the judiciary favors the left. If it’s impossible to completely remove politics from the judiciary, then any win for conservatism is acceptable just as any loss for conservatism is unwelcome. I desperately want the originalist perspective to prevail in our judiciary, but if such apolitical adherence is only possible when convenient or in a robotic utopia of a truly impartial judiciary, then I’m forced to defer to the side of my heart that says, “Take the win and move on.”

We need the citizenship question in the census, and though I would have preferred to have seen it handled properly by the Commerce Department, I’ll accept a victory on it even if it comes by the hand of conservative bias.

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Culture and Religion

Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Opinions

Sign the petition demanding term limits on Capitol Hill

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Sign the petition demanding term limits on Capitol Hill

It’s time for term limits. This has been on my heart for some time, but I have held back because there are so many other important issues to cover. Today, I realized if I wait until more pressing issues are solved, I’ll be waiting forever. There are always going to be more pressing issues than term limits, but here’s the thing. Our representatives realize this, too, which is why it’s never given the attention it deserves. They use these other issues as cover to prevent them from having to address the one issue that will affect them the most.

This is my first petition on Change.org. I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of the site because it is mostly progressive topics on the table, but this is an issue that even progressives should be able to acknowledge as a problem.

Here’s what I posted:

Set term limits for U.S. Representatives and Senators

Corruption is rampant in Washington DC. One of the biggest reasons this is the case is because lifetime politicians have become power brokers, making them the beneficiaries of favors, payoffs, and under-the-table deals. They live in a perpetual state of campaigning rather than focusing on addressing the problems that face Americans.

Term limits were never included in the Constitution because it was expected by the founders that those serving as our representatives in the legislative branch would do so as a duty to be fulfilled rather than a luxurious position of excess. They did not anticipate the electoral benefits of incumbents, nor did the realize the two-party system would polarize the nation to the point that positions could be made essentially permanent.

Power should not be accumulated over the length of a long career. It should be earned through action and earnestly held for a brief period of time. Today, too much power is consolidated in Washington DC, partially as a result of the extended lengths in which our representatives enjoy their tenure.

Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate should be there because they want to serve their country, not because they enjoy being part of the DC Country Club. Term limits are very popular among the people, but Capitol Hill continues to ignore our will by failing to address it. Why should they? Only they can be hurt by it, and it does not behoove them to hurt themselves.

Instead, they continue hurting us.

We demand Congress immediately put together legislation that spells out term limits for themselves. Americans need to know who is willing to suppress their own power for the sake of the nation. This can only happen by bringing legislation to the floor.

Imagine Capitol Hill without the perpetual campaigning. Imagine forcing our representatives to work within a time limit instead of working to stay in the DC Country Club forever. It’s time for term limits in the House and Senate.

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Get this story in front of tens of thousands of patriots who need to see it. For every $30 you donate here, this story will be broadcast to an addition 7000 Americans or more. If you’d prefer to use PayPal, please email me at jdrucker@reagan.com and let me know which post you want boosted after you donate through PayPal.

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