Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ESCALATION The Truth About Trump and the Military Action in Yemen

Although many libertarians believe that President Trump will rein in the overseas adventures of the U.S. military, it is extremely difficult to understand how this view is held.

First, it is clear that he will expand the military. On Monday, during a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, he told Coalition Representatives and Senior U.S. Commanders:
We will ensure that the men and women of our military have the tools, equipment, resources, training, and supplies you need to get the job done.  You’ve seen me say we’ve been depleted.  Our navy is at a point almost as low as World War I.  That’s a long time ago.  That’s a long time ago.  It’s not going to happen anymore, folks.  It’s not going to happen anymore -- not with me...
We will make a historic financial investment in the Armed Forces of the United States and show the entire world that America stands with those who stand in defense of freedom.  
At the Air Force base, he also stated that NATO members must pay their fair share but he also said, "We strongly support NATO."

Now word comes out that  White House national security adviser Michael Flynn will recommend that Trump support allowing the small Balkan nation of Montenegro to join NATO.

It is not clear whether Trump will take Flynn's advice but there is no indication that Trump has any plans at all to fold up the NATO tent and bring the U.S. troops home from NATO countries. Trump, supporting Montenegro for NATO membership, which Russia would look unfavorably upon, would stick another dagger into Trump Fanboys who have somehow promoted the idea that Trump is going to disband NATO. Not going to happen.

But the most disturbing thing that has happened, since Trump has taken power, occurred in Yemen.

We are being provided more details about the failed attack: One American Navy SEAL and more than a dozen civilians dead, among those killed was, an 8-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki. We now also know that Trump by ordering the attack escalated beyond the methods of operations that Obama used.

According to NBC News, after two months of military preparation increasingly focused on the opportunity to capture [high ranking al Qaeda leader Qassim] al-Rimi, Trump was told by Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, that his capture would be a "game changer," according to a senior White House official with direct knowledge of the discussions.

But here's the thing, as reported by Bonnie Kristian (my bold):
President Trump promised real change in US foreign policy, and in at least one clear regard he has already delivered: Where President Obama spent six years waging covert drone warfare in Yemen and nearly two years quietly supporting brutal Saudi intervention in the Gulf state’s civil war, Trump drew national outrage to this heretofore ignored conflict in nine days flat.
He did so by ordering a commando raid to take out a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)....Americans’ new attention to US intervention in Yemen is rightly focused on these details, especially the tragic and preventable deaths. But if we only notice the particulars of this strike, we run the risk of missing an alarming bigger picture: This raid marked the first time the United States has put boots on the ground in combat in the Yemeni civil war, and those SEALs were sent into the line of fire without constitutionally-required authorization from Congress.
If that seems like a pedantic consideration, I assure you it is not. This is a major new development in a military intervention launched by the Obama White House without public discussion or a declaration of war. 
Before Trump took office, I stated that he would put U.S. troops on the ground in the Middle East. This has now occurred and I expect much more when the military comes back with plans he has requested via an Executive Order on "how to fight ISIS harder" and how to establish "safe zones" in Syria and Yemen.

The fact that Trump wants to build up the military could by itself be considered simply a defensive measure (although a measure that could be questioned as to its necessity), especially if Trump were to shutdown NATO. But he isn't going to close NATO and he does want to "wipeout" ISIS and has already, before the plans he requested are back, ordered a troops on the ground attack in Yemen.

From these early indications, Trump foreign policy is going to be horrific.

I would recommend to Trump fanboys that they retreat now. Trump should be abandoned. He is not the second coming of Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson. He is not even the second coming of Jimmy Carter.



From former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, without apparently being aware of the troops on the ground escalation orchestrated by Mad Dog and Trump:
Hopes for the Trump administration are not burning brightly. Trump’s military chief, Gen. Mattis, is turning out to be true to his “mad dog” nickname. He has just declared that Iran “is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

He has declared Russia to be the number one threat to the US.

He has threatened intervention in China’s territorial affairs.

I was wrong. I thought Gen. Mattis was a reasonable choice as he rejects the efficacy of torture, and, according to Trump, convinced Trump that “torture doesn’t work.” Apparently, Mattis cannot reach beyond this realization to higher geopolitical realizations. Trump needs to fire Mattis who has placed the Pentagon in the way of normal relations with Russia.

There is no evidence in the behavior of Iran, Russia, and China to support Gen.Mattis’ views. His definition of threat is the neoconservative one—a country capable of resisting US hegemony. This is a convenient threat for the military/security complex as it justifies an unlimited budget in order to prevail over such “threats.” It is this hegemonic impulse that is the source of terrorism... 
We are also hearing from Mattis and from Tillerson threats to intervene in China’s sphere of influence. Trump’s appointees appear to be unable to understand that there can be no improvement in relations with Russia if the Trump regime has Iran and China in its crosshairs.

Is there any prospect that the Trump administration can develop geopolitical awareness? Is the tough-talking Trump administration tough enough to overthrow the power that Zionist Israel exercises over US foreign policy and the votes of the US Congress?

If not, more war is inevitable.


  1. This is an interesting, more detailed discussion of Yemeni/Seal fiasco with Jeremy Scahill at Democracy Now.


  2. Since Ronald Wilson Reagan left office in 1989, the United States has chosen to rebuff virtually every offer of a reduction tensions in order to violently dismember any nation that stood in the way of some obscured objective. The Iranian's are not insane, we are.

  3. Isn't Sunni Al Qaeda the protégé of Sunni Saudi Arabia? I thought the Shia Houthis were getting aid from Shia Iran. Does Trump know a Shiite from Shinola?

    99.99% of Americans don't know the difference either but still feel obligated to bring the blessings of Detroit style government to foreign lands they can't find on a map.

  4. I blame this all on the American people. I am a totally "in your face" Facebook "friend". The retired lady teachers will not respond to anything about Obama's and Hillary's war crimes but totally freak out about the latest temporary ban on foreigners. The Republican "Christians" are completely in the thrall of Israel and Netanyahu. The 500 dead children and the incinerated old folks homes and hospitals are no big deal because the Arabs started it and deserve it. The Republicans pound the idiot's version of Hillary and "Benghazi" because the idea that the USA was shipping Gadaffi's weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria doesn't compute for them, as it does not compute for the Obama lovers.

    For both groups, Obama was a peacenik. That makes him marvelous to the Democrats, and to the Republicans a pathetic wimp who is a secret Muslim who wouldn't fight "radical Islam", which includes Iran. The Republicans love Trump challenging Iran for Bibi. The entire topic does not seem to compute with the Democrats.

    There was hope among some that Trump would try to change those attitudes, at least among the Republicans. I don't see that happening and I don't see policy changing unless the public changes its infantile "understanding" of these matters.

  5. You're right, RW, this does not bode well for America, or the rest of the world.

    In the first sentence, I think you mean "rein in"?