Foreign Policy

Trump Said 'You Don't Have To Drop Bombs on Everybody.' He's Right.

The president’s accidental vision of a war-free second term.

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Asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity last Thursday to detail his top priorities for a second term in the White House, President Donald Trump descended into an incoherence remarkable even by his standards. At the end of the ramble, though, he said something interesting: "I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes. Like, you know, an idiot like [former National Security Adviser John] Bolton. All he wanted to do was drop bombs on everybody. You don't have to drop bombs on everybody. You don't have to kill people."

That bit about Bolton, excised from the babble preceding it, has the seed of an idea that really would make a historic second term: Stop bombing people. Make good, finally, on your promise to end our endless wars.

This idea has three strengths for a second-term agenda. Most important—and likely least appealing to a man who revels in militarism, enthuses about torture, gets giddy over explosives, and both proposes and facilitates war crimes—is that it would be an overdue act of peace.

The United States has been floundering in Afghanistan for 19 years. We have been bombing Iraq since 2003, Pakistan since 2004, Somalia since 2007, Libya since 2011, Syria since 2014, and Yemen since 2015. Smaller U.S. military interventions—it is so difficult to know what to dub a "war" anymore—are ongoing in various African nations. U.S. bases pepper the Middle East, with thousands of troops at the ready to initiate, escalate, or stumble into conflict. These wars do nothing to help the United States and much to harm ordinary people who have the misfortune to live where Washington decides to fight.

American withdrawal from these conflicts would not spell their immediate end. But U.S. exit is a necessary condition for peace, even if it isn't a sufficient one. The past two decades have made it inescapably clear that Washington's military meddling cannot resolve the region's political, religious, and cultural problems. Prolonging these wars only adds to the region's suffering and chaos.

The second strength of Trump's anti-bombing comment is its achievability. Speaking of constitutional procedure in Washington is increasingly farcical, but the president's constitutional role as commander-in-chief does include the authority to end wars. The power to initiate conflict is given to Congress with the intent of slowing reckless rushes to violence, but there are no such barriers to ending military actions once initiated. Trump can stop bombing everybody at any moment of his choosing. He can withdraw troops whenever he likes. He could get started now—why wait for a second term?

That brings us to the idea's third strength: It would make Trump's many professions of interest in reforming American foreign policy into truths instead of indefensible lies. Like the three presidents before him, Trump pays lip service to restraint in U.S. foreign policy. He criticizes the length, cost, and humanitarian consequences of our wars. He promises to bring American forces home, to negotiate great treaties, to abandon futile nation-building projects.

And he does none of that. Trump has not ended a single war he inherited from his predecessor. He has escalated the war in Afghanistan, dropping a record number of bombs in 2019 (after setting a previous record in 2018). Afghanistan's civilian, military, and police casualties are all at record highs as well. In drone warfare, Trump has found a signature Obama administration program he does not oppose; on the contrary, as The American Conservative's Daniel Larison reports, his "administration has significantly increased the tempo of drone strikes in a number of countries, and it has relaxed the rules governing the targeting of these strikes." In Yemen, Trump has pushed past bipartisan congressional and public opposition to keep facilitating the horrific Saudi-led intervention.

This is the opposite of not bombing everybody. More bombs are falling. More innocent people are being killed. 

Trump has always sent mixed messages on matters of war and peace. Part of him sees war as a drain on American resources, a distraction from domestic issues, and an opportunity to showcase his self-declared deal-making expertise in its resolution. This is the Trump who says, "Great nations do not fight endless wars." But part of him—apparently most of him—is bloodthirsty, self-serving and mercurial, petty and short-sighted, easily swayed by bad advice, and infatuated with the most garish displays of military might.

That Trump, the vengeful Trump who is angry the arch-hawk Bolton has publicly embarrassed him, is the Trump whose jabbering to Hannity accidentally stumbled into a good second-term priority while casting about for something Bolton would not like.

It's a shame that that's all his comment appears to be. A president who spent four years not killing people would be an extraordinary president indeed.

NEXT: Reason TV Video on the Case for Letting Hong Kong Refugees Migrate to the United States

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  1. What jabbering article. Trump hasn’t started any wars, which puts him ahead of every President since Reagan. And we currently have 8000 US troops in Afghanistan. That is exactly the number he inherited from Obama. So, he certainly hasn’t escalated the war in any meaningful way. Meanwhile he kept us out of Syria or any other war during that time.

    So jabber all you want about Orange man bad, but Trump is the most doveish President since Carter. I am sorry that upsets you Bonnie and makes you jabber this way, but sometimes life is like that.

    1. Yeah but he doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize, so you are obviously wrong.

      1. In the final year of his administration, Droney McPeacePrize dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day of 2016, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.
        In 2016, US special operators could be found in 70% of the world’s nations, 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130% since the days of the Bush administration

        Trump had dinner with Pyongyang’s Rocketman and killed an Iranian terrorist which was practically WW3.

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    2. Trump could withdraw from Afghanistan and let Afghans determine their own fate. This is something he has been considering for some time.

      If he announced tomorrow that all US troops would be withdrawn by July 4th, Nancy would be on the “news” saying that Putin’s hit contracts on US troops chased Trump out of the country.

      1. It isn’t something he’s talked about. The United States committed to withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan in 14 months–months ago.

        “If he announced tomorrow that all US troops would be withdrawn by July 4th, Nancy would be on the “news” saying that Putin’s hit contracts on US troops chased Trump out of the country.”

        This has more or less already happened–although it wasn’t by July 4th, Trump has talked about having all of our troops out of Afghanistan before the election in November, and the establishment

        “In recent months, Mr. Trump has repeatedly voiced a desire to leave Afghanistan sooner than the timeline laid out in the Feb. 29 peace agreement with the Taliban, which stipulated U.S. troops would leave in 12 to 14 months if the insurgent group met certain conditions.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/world/asia/afghanistan-troop-withdrawal-election-day.html

        The criticism from the left seems to be about criticizing President Trump for trying to get us out of Afghanistan just to get himself reelected–as if rewarding a president with your vote for getting us out of a 19 year quagmire were somehow beyond the pale?!

        1. It’s a clever strategy. If he does something you don’t like, then he’s evil. If he does something you do like, then he did it for evil reasons. The man is evil, after all.

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    3. Withdrawing troops from Germany is incoherent, too, I guess, because . . . well, I hate Trump–is that what we’re supposed to think? Is this the result of give ’em all a trophy mentality?

      The chances of us getting someone more committed to withdrawing troops from the rest of the world if Trump isn’t reelected is practically zero.

      The reason we didn’t go to war in Syria is because Trump was elected instead of Hillary Clinton. The reason we’re getting out of Afghanistan is because Trump was elected instead of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton would never have worked with Putin to defeat ISIS, and Hillary Clinton would never have even negotiated with the Taliban. She’s more of a neoconservative that way than George W. Bush was–she wouldn’t shake hands with dictators.

      Hillary Clinton was the kind of committed neocon who might rather come to a peaceful existence with Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany–rather than shake hands and work with Stalin. And I’m not sure Joe Biden has ever repudiated her foreign policy. The reason Putin hated Hillary Clinton so much is because she eviscerated him for his treatment of LGBT in Russia on the issue of gay marriage. Either she cared more about the LGBT of Moscow than she did about defeating ISIS, or she didn’t care about getting Putin’s help because she planned on invading Syria once she was elected.

      1. “or she didn’t care about getting Putin’s help because she planned on invading Syria once she was elected.”

        Totally this.

      2. Shotgun Joe would absolutely follow idiot Bolton’s advice about 90% of the time. He might not be as bad as Clinton would have been, but close enough as to make no difference.

    4. Agreed. This is the one issue on which Trump has been great.

    5. He does deserve praise for not starting any new wars, true.
      Now if he would only stop supporting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen, that would be a good step forward.

      1. I hear we withdrew our Patriot Missiles from Saudi Arabia.

        There’s no reason for the US to remain in the Gulf. We’re a net energy exporter. If Saudi Arabia oil goes offline, we make more money, and our competitors don’t have oil.

        I highly recommend Peter Zeihan for geopolitics, and how US energy independence changes everything.

      2. We have a regional alliance with the Sauds and due to that we sell them weapon systems. Other than our selling them those systems we have nothing do do with Yemen.

        Selling weapons does not make us responsible for everything someone else does with them.

        As for Yemen, it is a primarily a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    6. “”Trump hasn’t started any wars, which puts him ahead of every President since Reagan.””

      I don’t look at wars as the benchmark. I look at troop deployment into a new area. So I’m guessing since Carter. Reagan sent troops. Beirut, Grenada.

  2. We have been bombing Iraq since 2003

    *1990

    And fuck off with that we bullshit.

  3. The president’s accidental vision of a war-free second term.

    Make good, finally, on your promise to end our endless wars.

    Okay so was it an ‘accidental vision’ or something he’s already promised ? Derp.

    1. You can’t expect that a job with the Times in the future unless you Orangemanbad.

  4. I Think Trump is a believer of if you go to war go to war otherwise quit with all the Bs which is what we have been doing

    1. War is war. Occupation is a whole different kettle of fish. In the British army, for example, being stationed in Northern Ireland was the least desirable posting. The war in Afghanistan ended about 20 years ago, almost before it started. It’s been occupation of a hostile territory ever since.

    2. The US Armed Forces are for killing and blowing things up that Americans need killed or blown up.

      With energy independence, most of the world can be filed under Not Our Problem. We don’t even need to blow things up. Just go home and plenty will get blown up without us lifting a finger.

      Speaking of which, big explosions in Iran, little media coverage.

      History commences in the Not Our Problem World.

      1. The MIC might disagree with you.

  5. Bolton’s book has significantly increased my esteem for Trump. He’s portrayed as a voice of restraint and criticized for his willingness to meet and sit down with enemies. He’s a grifter but I’ve always thought his anti-war feelings were sincere and consistent if not deeply felt. It’s for that reason I cheered him on in 2016 over Clinton. Trouble is he’s too weak and too pliant to go against determined interlocutors like the military, his party, the Saudis and Israelis, Sean Hannity and others.

    If he could bring home the troops before November, that would be something Biden wouldn’t do even if he could. It would be widely popular and would turn attention away from his increasingly ham fisted and amateurish handling of civil unrest and the virus.

    1. “He’s portrayed as a voice of restraint and criticized for his willingness to meet and sit down with enemies.”

      Bolton is just pissed that Trump cuts the #DeepState out of foreign negotiations and conducts them himself. Bolton is always whining that Trump shouldn’t talk to so and so, leaving all talks conducted by the apparatchiks.

      Well fuck the apparatchiks with a rusty pipe.

      1. Well fuck the apparatchiks with a rusty pipe.

        I was thinking of a rusty paddle bit in a cordless drill (safety first!)

    2. “”If he could bring home the troops before November, that would be something Biden wouldn’t do even if he could. It would be widely popular and would turn attention away from his increasingly ham fisted and amateurish handling of civil unrest and the virus.””

      The media would say Trump is endangering the lives of the troops by forcing them to return and being exposed to COVID.

      1. Trump could walk across the Reflecting Pool and the headlines the next day would read “Trump Can’t Swim”.

    3. I think Trump’s reluctance to go to war probably comes from him being a real estate man. If your money is in the military industry, or foreign affairs or international aide, etc., then you want more war. War is good for your bottom line. But real estate doesn’t do well in a war, for obvious reasons.

  6. The incoherence of people who criticize Trump as a warmonger is amazing. They ignore President Trump’s efforts to extract us from Afghanistan and then complain that he’s still there after 19 years. They’ll also complain about the never-ending wars after criticizing him for withdrawing our troops from harm’s way in Syria.

    Trump started his presidency by making a deal with Putin to have Russia and its allies (Iran and Syria) concentrate on defeating ISIS in Syria–rather than fighting against the rebels–while the U.S.’ allies in Syria concentrated on defeating ISIS, as well. The result was the total destruction of ISIS in Syria–without the direct involvement of U.S. troops.

    The sale of weapons to the Saudis was all about letting them fight on the ground–so we don’t have to–but listening to Trump’s critics, you’d have thought Iran and its allies in Yemen wouldn’t be aggressive at all if it weren’t for President Trump’s warmongering. That’s a stupid fantasy!

    The Iranians attacked shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf, and Trump did nothing. The Iranians attacked the oil production facilities of our allies in Saudi Arabia, and Trump did nothing. When the Iranians finally escalated to targeting U.S. contractors, Trump’s critics called him a warmonger for retaliating–as if the prior restraint never happened or retaliating for targeting Americans were somehow incomprehensible.

    In recent months, President Trump inked a deal with the Taliban to withdraw troops from Afghanistan–a deal the Taliban has abided by. When the American backed government of Afghanistan dragged its feet on releasing Taliban POWs in accordance with the peace plan, Pompeo cut U.S. aid to the government of Afghanistan.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a $1 billion cut in U.S. aid to Afghanistan after he failed to convince Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political foe to end a feud that has helped jeopardize a U.S.-led peace effort.

    The United States also is prepared to cut 2021 assistance by the same amount and is conducting “a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions, and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan,” Pompeo said in a statement.”

    —-CNBC, March 23, 2020

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/24/us-to-reduce-afghan-aid-by-1-billion-after-pompeo-fails-to-break-impasse.html

    How much more committed to the peace plan do you expect President Trump to be?

    There isn’t anything incoherent about Trump’s foreign policy. It’s called pragmatism and putting the security interests of the United States first. It’s the same pragmatism Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton employed–Reagan when he pulled us out of Lebanon when it wasn’t in America’s best interests to be there, George H. W. Bush when it wasn’t in the best interests of the United States to depose Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq, and Clinton when he demurred on invading Rwanda. Working with Putin on the one hand only to oppose him in other ways is the same pragmatism that Reagan employed when he made allies like Pinochet, on the one hand, and pressured him to hold a referendum on his rule on the other.

    There isn’t anything especially incoherent about pragmatism. It’s as complicated as real life. If pragmatism’s critics think Trump is being incoherent, it’s either because they’re ignorant or because they’re being willfully obtuse. Either we’re not as stupid as you think we are, or we’re smarter than you.

    1. “The incoherence of people who criticize Trump as a warmonger is amazing. ”

      It’s only amazing because you haven’t thought it through. One of the old saws used to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans was that one was pro war but anti military, and the other party was the other way around. Somehow they managed to achieve consensus during much of the cold war.

      It is certain that Trump is anti war, but pro military. He is enchanted by the pomp and power of it. He’s created the space force, as for the established branches, he’s hankered after a grand parade, surrounded himself with generals, used soldiers as props, squandered their lives, defended them at their most heinous and so on. Trump deserves criticism for all that and more, from all but his most devoted stooges.

      1. If anyone on this forum has thought it through it’s going to be Ken. You however are repeating tropes from the article without a shred of proof. Trump might be grandiose but he is far less bloodthirsty than Obama, Bush, and Clinton.

        I would also note he’s fired all those retired generals, and dumped that asshole Bolton. Why is up to speculation but my guess is the military has been pushing for a new war and he didn’t give it to them. Whereas Hillary Clinton would have been fucking disaster and engaged the military in new useless wars of aggression.

        1. “If anyone on this forum has thought it through it’s going to be Ken.”

          Ken is not a thinker. His ideas are utterly conventional and there’s nothing original there. I agree that Trump’s heart is in the right place on the anti-war issue. My criticism is that he’s not strong enough or lacks the resolution to make a difference. I’m afraid his fall back position is to cave to more hawkish advice. His Korean initiative or his flip flop on the Taliban invite to Camp David, just to name a couple that are exhaustively discussed in the Bolton book.

          1. Lol you commenting on someone else’s ability to think is hilarious. Please write another fan-fiction essay on classical composers you clearly only have passing knowledge of. Your statement on Shostakovich and Stalin’s relationship was laughably wrong, I’m guessing you were banking on people here being unfamiliar. Oops.
            Maybe you could stick to what you actually know and describe the ‘adventurous thrill’ you get playing shuffleboard and eating at the captain’s table with your husband on a seniors’ cruise.

            Your pseduo-intellectualism is comical. You outed yourself in another thread when unprompted, you smugly described how you thought yourself smarter than the other commenters… Now, I’m no genius, but what actually-smart person touts their own intelligence over others ? And on an internet forum… (lol). Somehow with that giant brain of yours you haven’t learned that when you resort to stating your own intelligence, you’ve lost the argument. If I didn’t know better I’d guess you’re overcompensating for something.

            1. Enough about Trump and bombing. Let’s discuss me! Seriously though, I’m glad you still take the trouble to read my comments. I can’t ask for anything more.

            2. Ya who des do that?
              “My two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” he tweeted.
              I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”
              “I always told people, you know I’m a very smart guy. I got good marks.”
              “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things”
              “I’m not changing. I went to the best schools, I’m, like, a very smart person.”
              “he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.” “That makes me smart,” he said in return.
              “I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day,”

          2. What’s wrong with being conventional and unoriginal if you get it right?

      2. Trump believes (as do I) that a strong military acts as a deterrent to other countries taking military action. If you believe in this then you would prefer to maintain a strong military, an overwhelming one if possible, that deters without need for deployment.

        So Trump’s actions with building the military, starting the Space Force, etc. are intended to deter aggression and avoid war.

        You should read more.

        1. A strong military is pretty empty as promises go. Who was the last politician to rise to prominence promising a weak military?

    2. “When the Iranians finally escalated to targeting U.S. contractors, Trump’s critics called him a warmonger for retaliating–as if the prior restraint never happened or retaliating for targeting Americans were somehow incomprehensible. ”

      Those contractors in Iraq, you mean. One of the few places, I believe, that Trump hasn’t talked about bringing home the troops from. Why? Well according to Bolton’s book, it’s that Trump has essentially fallen victim to the sunken cost fallacy. The US has spent such an enormous sum of money on a handful of bases in Iraq, we can’t afford to abandon them. They make perfect targets for trouble making cats of all stripes. Even Persian ones.

    3. “It’s called pragmatism and putting the security interests of the United States first.”

      The branding is #AmericaFirst.

      With energy independence, that’s operationalized by:
      “You fucking savages are no longer our problem. But don’t get cute and fuck with us or you won’t like the results. We don’t give a damn. We don’t need you, we don’t need the people who need you, and certainly don’t need to put up with any bullshit from you. See ya. Sincerely, America.”

  7. “If you want peace, prepare for war.” – An ancient Greek saying.

    This is not true.
    The Belgians, Dutch and Luxemborgers (SP) didn’t prepare for war, and the Wehrmacht ran all over their countries.
    But that’s because Hitler’s army didn’t want to pay the fee in France’s toll roads.

    1. Incidentally, getting rid of the police isn’t the solution to violent crime either.

      1. I got a kick out of that double take too – Article starts in on war and military and all the sudden we have the word “police”?? WT?

  8. They used to accuse Reagan of incoherence, too. Afghanistan and Cuba, Chile and Nicaragua, Pershing missile deployments in western Europe–how do you square that with withdrawing from Lebanon, invading Grenada, merely bombing Libya, and walking away from the Russians at Reykjavik? It’s incoherent!

    Here’s incoherent for you.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_Doctrine

    That’s how we won the Cold War.

    No doubt, economics was a big problem for the Soviet Union, but short term, expansion would have helped. The reason the Soviet Union didn’t expand further than they did wasn’t because they didn’t want to. The reason the Soviet Union didn’t expand further than they did was because they couldn’t.

    The future isn’t inevitable today, and it wasn’t inevitable back then either. The reason we have the future we have today is because of the decisions people like Reagan made in the past, and if we get out of Afghanistan in the future, it won’t be because it was inevitable. It will be because of the choices President Trump made that wouldn’t have been made if he hadn’t been elected.

    And the same goes for avoiding war in Syria.

    1. “The reason the Soviet Union didn’t expand further than they did was because they couldn’t.”

      They could and they did. By the end of the Cold War, they had bases in Vietnam. They had a client state only miles from the US coast called Cuba. Where the USSR tried and failed to expand, Afghanistan, was due to strategy initiated by Carter, with Reagan following along. Reagan’s Pershing missiles played no role in the biggest setback in Soviet history.

      1. Wow, just come in from Fantasy Island?

        1. So tell us how Reagan’s Pershing missiles were responsible for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. You can’t and you won’t because you know by now that the strategy of equipping the resistance was initiated under Carter, for the second time now.

  9. President Donald Trump descended into an incoherence remarkable even by his standards.

    This was your opener, and you actually wanted me to *read* this? Go fuck yourself Bonnie. The masthead says “Reason” and a decade or two ago that actually meant something.

    Seriously, go fuck yourself. Hard.

    1. Getting defensive over an observation that Trump is a mush-mouth on TV and at the podium is pretty rich.

    2. Trump did just what he said.
      Bombed the shit out of ISIS.
      Got NK to destroy their long range missile program, so their nukes aren’t our problem.
      Stayed out of wars. Reduced troop levels abroad.

      Totally coherent.
      America First.

      Promises Made, Promises Kept.

  10. we’ve been bombing Iraq regularly since 1991, not 2003. the no-fly zones in between Gulf Wars involved frequent “enforcement actions” under 3 presidents, and we hardly slowed under the 4th & 5th, though the “justifications” changed.

  11. I just listened to the whole thing, it’s just a minute. What’s incoherent about it? Trump said he’d always believed talent to be more important than experience, and for things you can’t practice for like being president, I agree. He said he’d had no experience in Washington. He said you make some mistakes, but now he’s surrounded by great people, having weeded out those like Bolton who just want to bomb and kill people.

    What part of this judgment is accidental?

    1. This is Trump’s answer. If you don’t think this is rambling then I don’t know what to say.

      Well, one of the things that will be really great, you know the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s an — a very important meaning.

      I never did this before. I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times. All of a sudden, I’m president of the United States. You know the story. I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our First Lady and I say, ‘This is great. But I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now I know everybody, and I have great people in the administration.”

      You make some mistakes. Like, you know, an idiot like Bolton. All he wanted to do was drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.

  12. Simply by not being in thrall to the goofy ideals and whims of either the neocons or the “liberals”, Trump has done better in foreign affairs than any president in half a century. It’s not like he’s converted this or any other country, or really anyone, to libertarianism, but that’s not what he needed to do.

  13. “He can withdraw troops whenever he likes. He could get started now—why wait for a second term?”

    Uh, no he cannot. Yes he has the Constitutional power but his presidency has been under attack since before it began. When he tried to take troops out of Syria, his Sec of Defense resigned and a replacement has never been made. Most Senate Republicans would replace him were it not for his popularity with the Republican rank-and-file.

    Eisenhower warned US about the military-industrial (Congressional) complex 60 years ago. It’s far more powerful now. Trump might be able to do something if he’s re-elected and John Durham can put some of these criminals away. But, if he isn’t re-elected, the fall of the empire is going to be absolutely disastrous. If you value liberty, you may have go somewhere else and start over as this country may be in ruins.

    1. This.

      2016 was the *beginning* of the war with the #DeepState. It was an accomplishment to simply hold the Presidency, but Trump has gone further, solidifying the Republican Party behind him, ushering Ryan out the door, along with a lot of the Globalist Swamp.

      Looks like he got the DOJ back. Sure could use them knocking off the remaining swampthings in Republican Leadership, starting with McConnell and Graham.

      I’m hoping he rehires Flynn to #DrainTheDeepState.

  14. “He promises to bring American forces home…”

    It would be great to bring home the troops, but what do we do with them besides lay them off? It’s not a good idea to keep large standing armies at home. We all know what happened to Rome after Caesar crossed the Rubicon. The Founders of this country also knew, which is why the powers of Congress in Article I do NOT provide for a standing army.

    I suggest a practical solution to this that Trump might agree with. We have a huge problem with violent crime and poverty in the ghettos of many of our inner cities. How about we create K12 military schools or military programs in K12 schools in these crime-ridden areas? Military schools aren’t for everyone (certainly not me) but they would great improvement for children therein over joining MS13-type gangs. Poor children would learn discipline they are not likely to find elsewhere. I am not talking about gun-toting kindergartners – for them it would be more like the cub scouts. But it would have involve the kinds of activities that military schools do.

    As a libertarian, I am opposed to taxpayer-funded education. But the military is a legitimate government function and soldiers need education and training. The idea might be even be popular with both liberals and conservatives.

    Replies and suggestions welcome.

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention.

      The military schools could provide jobs for returning troops.

    2. No. Our society worships the military too much as it is.

      1. Worship for the military primarily comes from fighting wars which are covered by the news media 24/7. There is very little coverage of military schools. Perhaps there would be more coverage if there were more military schools but that would have a different effect than cries to ‘support our troops’.

  15. I didn’t watch it, and don’t know whether he “babbled” or not, but I had originally thought from the headline Trump was talking about protests and violence inside the US. I’m disappointed it was about wars outside the US. We have to watch our own nation first–America first, Trumps own words. If we don’t turn the tide on condoning violence as a form of protest, the bombs will be next. And I don’t mean the type of bombs from 1960s era, I mean the kinds of bombs Trump suggested Bolton likes to drop on foreign countries.

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  17. Trump has tried to cause Americans to see Russia and China as adversaries vs, enemies. There’s no Libya or Syria mess. No confrontation with Rocketman. Not too bad.

    1. I agree. But the media takes it all away and focuses on something else, then exonerate W Bush as if he’s suddenly “alright.” It’s amazing.

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  19. Trump has a completely incoherent foreign policy and its really impossible to tell if he will be dropping bombs today, tomorrow, or never. He is criticizing John Bolton now but he was the same guy who hired him and Trump knew what he was getting. He also seems to be more influenced by autocrats in the region than he should be. He may not start a war but he doesn’t seem to have what it takes to stop one either.

  20. ‘You Don’t Have To Drop Bombs on Everybody.’

    No, you don’t have to drop bombs on everybody.
    But it sure would be fun.

  21. Totally off topic.

    Carl Reiner passed away.

    For me his greatest was the 2000 year old man skits he did with Mel Brooks. You can still find them.

    The two of them just riff off each other perfectly.

  22. Finally, my paycheck is $ 8,500? A working 10 hours per week online. My brother’s friend had an average of 12K for several months, he work about 22 hours a week. I can not believe how easy it is, once I try to do so..  Read More.

  23. Although this article is extraordinarily naive, I agree the US should pull combat troops out of all bases in Africa, Asia, and Latin America ending our participation in all their wars. The simple reason we can give is that the US is too racist to have troops there. I’d also like to see us remove our combat troops from Europe but we’ll have to find a different excuse. However, the idea that people in those countries would be better off if the US leaves is wrong. In all likelihood more people in those countries would die but that isn’t any of our business. Our troops should protect US citizens, not those of other countries. We can use the funds saved to build our local defenses and deterrents. We could go back to the constitutional imperative that Congress declares wars, not the President.

  24. The Deep State ginned up four incidents to justify bombing Iran, but Trump turned it down each time. This article mentioned Africa, but few Americans realize the American empire conquered nearly all of Africa the past two decades with new military bases everywhere. This short video explains:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTi7c4K4V7A&t=13s

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