By Robert Wenzel
I know, I guess I should be cheering that the anti-war right appears to be breaking with President Trump since his cruise missile attack on the Shayrat military air base in Syria, but you have to wonder about these people. Are cruise missiles just some kind of strange trigger for them?
Here's Ann Coulter breaking from Trump since the attack:
There are nearly 50k comments on this @BreitbartNews story about Syrian attack, 99% ferociously negative. https://t.co/zQfrEWFYpS— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
"Read the founding fathers. We must stay out of entangling alliances." https://t.co/zQfrEWFYpS— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 7, 2017
But Trump never said he wasn't going to engage in military actions overseas---just that he wouldn't do it in the name of "nation building."
I wrote this in April of last year:
In his speech, billed as a major foreign policy speech, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., Trump said he was against nation building, but then quickly added that he was in favor of using U.S. might to bring "stability" to the world...But reacting to the same speech, Coulter got totally suckered:
Although Trump is against nation building, this should not be taken to mean that he is not militaristic.
The man sees a very hostile world where unlike [George] Washington, he sees a need to meddle overseas, using, when he deems it necessary, the United States military to take on perceived threats, almost all completely imaginary...
To be sure, many of the other presidential candidates display a bellicose streak, but none of them come close to Trump in "creative meddling" and none of them appear to have the Trump personality that seems built at its very foundation on never backing down.
GREATEST FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH SINCE WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 27, 2016
Misreading the early Trump was not Coulter's only mistake. She failed to consider the advisers Trump had surrounded himself with at that early date.
For example, Trump was leaning heavily on the foreign policy advice of the nutjob General Michael Flynn. Indeed, Trump named Flynn his national security adviser at the start of the Administration and he held that position until he shot himself in the foot.
But, back during the campaign, it should have been a concern of the anti-war right that Flynn was so close to Trump. But not a peep---and this guy is seriously deranged.
What were they thinking?
In his book, The Field of Flight, Flynn wrote:
Most Americans mistakenly believe that peace is the normal condition of mankind, while war is some weird aberration. Actually, it's the other way around....Since then, Trump has replaced Flynn with H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, who is simply a more clever and skilled war hawk.
Americans do not prepare for the next war, are invariably surprised when it erupts, and, since we did not take prudent steps when it would have been relatively simple to prevail, usually end up fighting on our enemies' more difficult and costly terms....
Let's face it: right now we're losing, and I'm talking about a very big war, not just Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan...
The war is on. We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
From my initial report on McMaster:
The new NSA, General H.R. McMaster, has Flynn beat in brain power by an exponential quantity. He holds a Ph.D. degree in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.It is really irresponsible for an anti-war professional columnist like Coulter to blabber on about Trump without understanding the war hawks surrounding him. And I am only touching the surface here. Even Jared Kushner could have been spotted as a serious problem before Trump assumed the presidency.
Here is the problem, when we are talking real world understanding, McMaster for all practical purposes holds a doctorate in military killing. And he has a blind vision that the United States is an Empire that must deal with "strategic interests" around the world, in many cases from a military angle. There is absolutely no indication that McMaster has adopted the view of George Washington that the United States should stay out of foreign entanglements. None.
Whatsmore, he holds the view that U.S. troops on the ground are the only way to solve many conflicts....With McMaster being named National Security Adviser, you can throw away the idea that Trump is going to disengage the United States from military adventures. The troops that are already deployed are not coming home. The Empire is about to intensify its global entanglements, with new or additional combat troops at many hot spots created in the first place by the Empire.
In early January, I wrote:
President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will be named senior adviser to the president, reports NBC News.But forget all these early warning signs. Where the hell has Coulter been since Trump has taken office and escalated military actions in numerous US theaters of operations---before the cruise missiles attack?
Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump.
This is not a good sign. Kushner appears to be a major influence on Donald Trump in the worst way..
He also appears to play a role in Trump's pro-Israel stance, a stance which is going to do nothing but get the US more deeply involved in a messy, messy foreign entanglement.
Back in March, we knew that drone strikes under Trump had climbed at an exponential rate.
And we also knew before the missile strikes that Trump was sending additional troops to the Middle East but no longer announcing their deployment.
Where was the outrage over this from the anti-war right?
And I hasten to add, the U.S. military warned the Russian military in advance that the cruise missiles attack was coming so they could get their men out of harm's way (which no doubt also caused the Syrians at the base to high tail it.). The U.S. does not warn anyone when a drone strike is about to hit. On a scale of deadly killing, the drone attacks are much more lethal than the made-for-TV missiles attack.
I am really glad the cruise missiles attack has woken up the anti-war right but, early on, they got suckered big time by Trump and it is difficult for me to see how. Sadly, it is important to keep in mind that they shouldn't be mistaken for solid liberty minded people.
Most of the anti-war right is nationalist in the worst sense of the term. They are against working undocumented immigrants and are anti-free trade.
And, don't let them get away with the excuse that Trump was different early on and that "somebody got to Trump." He has always been a war hawk (just, wink, wink, not for "nation building").
From his 2011 book, Time to Get Tough:
Afghanistan is still a mess and a terrorist hotbed. Syria is on the verge of civil war...
[N]ational security threats are everywhere and growing...
Let me put this as plainly as I know how: Iran's nuclear program must be stopped---by any and all means necessary. Period.And:
Only go to war to win.That's Trump. He has always been an "all means necessary" war advocate. The anti-war right if they had their eyes open should have known this.
This is how Trump justified his attack on a non-nation building basis, from his statement immediately following the attack:
Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.It's been there all along. Trump is not anti-war, he just won't justify it on a nation building basis. From the start he surrounded himself with military that believe the exact same thing as he does.
Expect many more military actions from Trump "to protect the national security interest of the United States."
There is really no reason to support this guy, He is horrific on foreign policy and almost as bad on domestic policy. Anyone who continues to support Trump is no friend of liberty that should be pretty obvious by now.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics, on LinkedIn and Facebook. The Robert Wenzel podcast is on iphone and stitcher.