...the Afghan war is not about protecting America's interests or ridding the world of terrorists, and the war on drugs is not about helping to end the opioid crisis.
For all those pundits out there who were concerned that Trump wasn't "Presidential" enough to actually be President, I have some great news for you! This past week Trump wiped out any such fear by doing the most presidential thing that can possibly be imagined: Continuing the never-ending war in Afghanistan!
That's right, the longest war in the history of the United States is not coming to an end any time soon. And just in case you were still operating under the delusion that the current puppet figurehead was any different at all from any of the stuffed shirts who previously occupied the Oval Office, Trump is even copying Obama's failed 2009 "surge" strategy to keep the whole charade going for another 4 (or 8 or 12 or 200) years.
As Mark Perry notes in his article on the subject, quoting an unnamed Pentagon official who was privy to the deliberations on the plan:
“This Trump plan, at least so far as I understand it, sounds a lot like the kind of plan we’ve come up with again and again since the end of World War Two,” a senior Pentagon officer says. “We’re going to surge troops, reform the government we support and put pressure on our allies. In this building [the Pentagon] there’s a hell of a lot of skepticism. And that’s because we all know what this new strategy really means – and what it means that the only way we can get out of Afghanistan is to get further in. You know, it seems to me that if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that that doesn’t work.”
Bah! Work shmirk. The point is that copying Obama's failed "surge" strategy will look aggressive and manly and will pump even more of that Fed-issued fiat debt paper into the pockets of the Pentagon and their contractor buddies, so now Trump is officially "Presidential" according to all the neocons on the right and the warmongers on the left.
The Trump dupes, of course, will argue that their "God-Emperor" has somehow or other (gosh darn, wouldn't you know it?) been put under a magical hypnotic spell by the Deep State and converted from a freedom-loving man of peace into a warmonger. They are, as always, delusional. This is the same Trump who said he was the most "militaristic" candidate in the GOP primary field and promised to "bomb the shit" out of those dastardly terrorists in Sy-raq (instead of, oh, I don't know, not creating, funding, training, equipping and protecting them), bring back waterboarding (and worse), target and kill family members of the (CIA-sponsored) terrorists, and take the resources from America's vanquished in future resource wars. More to the point, as Micah Zenko accurately pointed out in the wake of this annoucnement, "Trump has now expanded US military presence and/or airstrikes in EVERY combat theater he inherited from Obama."
But hey, he pretended to criticize Obama's Afghan strategy a few years ago, so what difference does all of that make?
In fact, it's impossible to think of a single, rational, defensible reason for the idiocy that is this Obama Surge 2.0 that Trump is greenlighting. It is a proven failed strategy, it is a waste of money, it only further destabilizes a region in turmoil and, as we have seen, even the Pentagon officials behind the scene resent it. And, oh yeah, it's a bloody and murderous and illegal invasion of a country, if that counts for anything anymore.
The Afghan war itself was never about ousting (CIA patsy) Bin Laden or protecting America from Al CIAda or preventing the next 9/11, as we can clearly see in 2017, long after the "murder" of "Bin Laden" in Abbottabad and the fact that Al CIAda are the good guys again. No, as I stated in my video on the 15th anniversary of the invasion last year, the Afghan war is a resource grab, a foothold in a key square of the geopolitical chessboard, and a ploy to keep the CIA's precious drug money flowing from their opium operations in the country.
The great irony here is that this move comes less than two weeks after Trump's declaration that America's ongoing opioid crisis, now claiming the lives of 100 Americans a day from overdoses alone, is a national emergency. "The opioid crisis is an emergency and I'm saying officially right now it is an emergency," he told reporters in New Jersey earlier this month. "We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency. It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had."
This is a direct insult to the intelligence of Americans (and people the world over) who recognize that the four decades of the failed "war on drugs" strategy has done nothing but (in fact, was never intended to do anything but) exacerbate the problem, leaving more people addicted to and more people incarcerated from drug use than before the so-called war started. Of course, Attorney General Sessions has vowed to pursue that War on Drugs all the harder during his tenure, because why not double down on a strategy that is a demonstrable failure when it provides a great excuse for an authoritarian police state and a steady stream of prisoners for the incarceration-industrial complex?
But now the Trump administration is rubbing salt in that wound by continuing the Afghan war that has caused the Afghan poppy crop to go from near-eradication pre-9/11 to record levels post-invasion. As the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime pointed out last year, two-thirds of all the arable land dedicated to poppy crops in the entire world lie in Afghanistan. And as they pointed out the year before that, fully 77% of the world's heroin supply is processed in Afghanistan. This is why Uncle Sam's loyal troops literally guard the poppy fields (and openly brag about it on national television), and this is one of the reasons why the Afghan war is not ending any time in the foreseeable future.
No, the Afghan war is not about protecting America's interests or ridding the world of terrorists, and the war on drugs is not about helping to end the opioid crisis. But you can bet your bottom dollar that the millions of people who were duped into voting for yet another stuffed shirt who sometimes paid lip service to the idea of ending the useless wars of aggression abroad will be persuaded to vote for another such stuffed shirt 4 or 8 or 12 or 16 or 1000 years hence. And when that stuffed shirt, too, inevitably reneges on those non-promises, the voting herd will content themselves that they did the right thing pulling the lever for the candidate they thought would end the wars, and consoling themselves that they'll get the chance to pull the lever again next time around.
And so the cycle continues, on and on, forever and ever, until the crack of doom. Or until people start to realize that participation in voting and cooperation with the governmental systems of control are the problem, not the solution. But don't hold your breath waiting on that.