Whiplash in Foreign Policy


April 13, 2017 (San Diego) Candidate Donald Trump spoke a very different tune during the campaign when it came to foreign policy. It was to some very refreshing. America First meant that we were not going to get involved in any of the quagmires we keep getting into. It was refreshing, especially for two sides of the nationalist faction in the United States, And by that, we mean the isolationist faction.

The two sides are represented by the Alt Right and the political more mainstream right, they are not necessarily the same, and whatever passes for a very disorganized left that rejects US military action, no matter what. These two were expecting a huge change in American foreign policy. One that should stop the wars of the last 50 years.

They were not wrong to expect this. For starters, the now President said during the campaign that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was obsolete. This organization was formed out of World War II to contain the Soviet Union. It was part of a series of organization and institutions formed to maintain the peace. In the mind of then candidate Trump something that was formed to fight the Soviet Union was not fighting terrorism I suppose that he was not paying attention when German troops deployed to Afghanistan after 911, or when NATO invoked article five after the attack. Because of that, we had German Air Force planes patrolling American skies.

He also said then that we were going to get along with Russia and that he respected Vladimir Putin who was portrayed by Trump as a real leader, unlike then U.S. President Barack Obama. Granted, this has a few years of history, and statements made by Trump praising Putin did not start during the campaign. CNN collected them in a convenient timeline.

He also promised that he would not get involved in any other quagmires. He was indeed critical of the US invasion of Iraq and Syria was not a place he intended involved. As a private citizen, he even tweeted that Obama should avoid doing this in any shape, or form, in 2013. He promised that it would get us into World War III with the Russians if we did. He also said that his only goal was to bomb the living daylights out of the Islamic State.

The Whiplash

To be honest, what we saw over the course of the last week is a president coming across a brick wall. This is not the world suddenly changing. At least two, if not more, of the actors in the Syrian civil war, have used chemical warfare agents. However, when the Syrian government does it after they signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2014 that takes a new meaning. For that matter, Russians covering up their use of chemical warfare agents also raises many questions.

It appears though, that the president’s mind was made up by what he saw on CNN, not even presented by the Department of Defense. This begs the question. Did the president miss previous use of chemical warfare agents? We know he consumes more news than most Americans do. So how come he missed those videos from 2013? Or he was pretending because in 2013 he told the President over Twitter not to get involved.

Tomahawks is the least you can do on a sliding scale that includes a full invasion, This is not unlike Bill Clinton bombing tents in the 1990s and factories. They sound good, but the risks and actual military costs are minimal. Yes, we are aware that it will cost about $60 million to replace the Tomahawks launched. We are also very aware this sounds like a lot of money, but in the bloated military budget that is not even pocket change.

There is more. No U.S. Personnel were put at risk and politically the administration can call this a win. They got positive coverage as well. So with the press, it was also a win.

Then there is NATO. We have gone from obsolete to they did a few changes and now they are relevant again. While the damage with NATO has been done, in reality, this is again coming against this brick wall called reality. We also suspect somebody did explain to the new president that some of the troops in Afghanistan fighting the bad dudes are Germans and British and other members of the alliance.

Now we come to Russia. Some of the most cynical types say that the launch of the Tomahawks against Syria was for show, and a way to distract from Russia-Gate. And that is possible. This would not be the first time to see the wagging of the dog in earnest to distract from a very serious internal scandal, which continues to fester. Not only was a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant issued on Carter Page, once a foreign policy member of the campaign but now we know allied intelligence services alerted ours as early as 2015.

This brings the scandal back into center stage, Even if they dropped the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan, which is again giving the administration some positive media coverage.  So we cannot discount some attempts to try to change the conversation and try to bring back to we are winning kind of language used during the campaign.

The Reaction

Our nationalist, America First faction is horrified. The far right is quite simply saying that white Americans were betrayed. All they were promised is not happening. The reaction in the mirror image to whatever passes for the left is the same. Both feel a deep sense of betrayal, and they believe that Trump is being forced to do this, in the best of cases. They wanted the United States to stop being the indispensable nation. They wanted us to pull back from the world. Yet, here we are.

The professionals in the foreign policy establishment are not quite singing hallelujah, but they are applauding the actions from the White House. They know, however, that Trump remains rather unpredictable. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, they trust time will tell. Many of them were formed over the last few generations and believe in the mission to maintain the preeminence of the United States in world affairs. So this they fundamentally agree with.

Whether you agree with either of these positions, what must be said is that the America First faction has been very busy spreading Russian, Syrian Regime, and Iranian propaganda. Part of this is that many of these people simply do not trust large media, partly because of what the New York Times, Washington Post and any other major media did during the road to war in Iraq in 2003. To say that there was no questioning of the story is, to put it mildly. Judith Miller, for example, was responsible for pushing this in the pages of the New York Times. She no longer works there, and most people will not remember her by name but do remember the paper’s role.

So in their desperate search to find whatever fits their world view, they are spreading propaganda. They are not using the same critical thinking skills that they bemoan from the mainstream media. Moreover, there has been a generational campaign to destroy the mainstream media. It has succeeded to the point that people will trust anything but the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post, or CNN.

There is a coterie of Alt. Right Propaganda sites. that are speaking stories that quite frankly are crazy on the face of it. For example, did you know the Syrian use of Sarin was a special forces attack launched by Israeli and Saudi Commandos operating from a base in Jordan? Me neither. It breaks all kinds of credibility if you know anything about the region. But it follows the story that Israelis and Saudis were taken prisoner at Aleppo by government forces. However, there are people who actually believe this happened. and they are not just on the far right side of the spectrum, You can see this in places like Jackpine Radicals, which is supposedly a progressive site.

The latest story follows the mistaken bombing of a rebel position by the US in Syria. In case you wonder, both Sputnik News and Press TV are saying that at least a hundred died, from the release of chemical weapons. This is the reaction from the isolationist wing of American politics and it is not just limited to the right. This is important. It is breaking far more along nationalist vs globalists.

To be fair, here is some of the right reaction to this switch. Nothing like getting whiplash at Alex Jones. Read the comments section to this piece on what we highlighted and some more, over the last week. The comments sections will surely illuminate for you the level of betrayal that many of the Alex Jones readership feel. realize this is the Trump base on the far right.You will find similar reactions at Breitbart, and God Like Productions and a few others.

Then there is Russia-Gate.

As we pointed above the scandal is not going away. If anything, ti is becoming a permanent thunderstorm over the heads of the young administration. This scandal continues to be a deep undertow on the administration. We are seeing them first distance themselves from General Michael Flynn who resigned in disgrace.

Now they are trying hard to distance themselves from their former campaign manager Paul Manafort who will have to register as a foreign agent. He is not the first either. That would be Flynn.

Then there is Page. The FISA warrants have been renewed every 90 days, and the investigation continues. This is not something that helps the administration. So as ti becomes increasingly complicated, we do expect the White House to try to redirect from that scandal to anything, but the scandal.

Page continues to deny he did anything wrong, but the scandal continues to grow Then there is the other relevant question. Why did so many in the Trump orbit speak to Russians? I understand a US Senator doing this in his capacity as a Senator (Jeff Sessions), but there is a reason to suspect there is far more to this than just an innocent conversation.

At this point, we can only speculate, but it is not going away.

Then there is this speculation from Louise Mensch on Twitter.

This is dated on April 7.

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