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Will Trump Exit Afghanistan Too?
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There are a lot of rumors that Trump is considering ending America’s war in Afghanistan after 17 years.

This is considered extremely irresponsible by the conventional wisdom because if the U.S. doesn’t project power west of the Khyber Pass, what about Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits?

I ask you?

My recommendation for roughly the last 16 years has been to get the Taliban to change their name to something like the United Afghan Front and then leave. Sure, it’s a little embarrassing to exit with the Taliban still in business, but to be honest, we punished them appropriately for their negligence in hosting Osama way back in 2001 by driving them out of power. The question of which indigenous group of bad guys rules Afghanistan ought to be awfully small change for Washington. A name change ought to suffice.

 
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  1. Politically it is always easier to invade than withdraw. Bush the elder was pilloried for not leaving our troops in Iraq, a lesson his son unfortunately took to heart. When Obama pulled troops out of Iraq, he was denounced by conservatives, including people now working for Trump, like Miller and Mustache Man. The American right and political center is conditioned to see withdrawal as cowardice and loves military solutions. Trump probably will not survive this affront to the Deep State.

    The irony is that on foreign policy Trump has lots of potential allies on the Bernie left but he alienated them by going along with the GOP on the tax cut and health-care. It always seemed to me that Trump would have been much better off acting more Nixonian and having a truly populist domestic economic policy to neuter the left on foreign policy and immigration but apparently his heart was never in it.

    • Agree: (((Owen)))
  2. Anon7 says:

    I know lots of Democrats, liberals and leftists who have been saying for more than a decade that we need to leave Afghanistan. They said it when Bush was president, when Obama was president.

    Now we have a president who will stand up to the swamp and do it. The fact that he is not supported clearly shows the hypocrisy of Dems, libs and lefties. As if we needed more proof, mind you.

    The biggest threat from Afghanistan to the American heartland is heroin, or possibly meth. Otherwise, not sure why we need troops there. Turning Afghanistan into a democracy is an insane project.

  3. At his last news conference in November of 1963, Kennedy announced that he was withdrawing 1,000 US military personnel before Christmas from South Vietnam.

    In December of 1963, President Johnson cancelled dead Kennedy’s “temporary rotation” order without any fanfare.

  4. Anonymous[258] • Disclaimer says:

    No, Steve you’ve got it all wrong.

    Of course, Afghanistan experienced some of the world’s highest ever rates of population growth in recent history. The Economist, of course, positively saliviates at all that potential ‘enrichment’ of the west. So mass Afghan immigration – as always provoked by US military intervention is set not just to continue, but to exponate.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Simply Simon
  5. IHTG says:

    They’re saying the plan now is to withdraw 7000 troops, not yet all of them.

  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon7

    I hope you’re not suggesting that Uncle Sam is trying to eradicate the opium in Afghanistan.

  7. I hate to be pedantic, Steve, but spell-check must have changed “opium” on you, to “gravel”. That’s a wierd one, but I’ve seen worse.

    • Replies: @Escher
  8. BREAKING

    Mattis is out:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics/donald-trump-james-mattis-out/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_content=2018-12-21T00:23:10

    I was initially hesitant to accept that Trump was serious about pulling out of Syria this time, since he’s reneged on that one before. But now it’s looking like he’s finally ready to go to the mat with the Cabal. God bless him — he’ll need it!

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  9. Anon[141] • Disclaimer says:

    Trump could use the troops pulled from Afghanistand to invade Crimea … or even Russia. That would kill two birds with one stone.

  10. The last person to conquer Afghanistan completely was Alexander the Great, and his regime disintegrated after he died. The British tried it three times and got their butts kicked, ditto for the Russians (once). What makes anyone think we can do better?

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    , @Redneck farmer
  11. Andy says:

    If invade the world becomes passé, hopefully invite the world will soon too.

  12. pyrrhus says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Pilloried by whom? Not the American public…Oh yeah, Bush was pilloried by the likes of (((Max Boot))) and his gang of Israel First pirates.

  13. The Taliban = A whole lot of (mostly Pushtan) Afghanis. The US would have to have much more stomach for killin’ to put them out of business. They just don’t seem to want to become the liberal democrats the neocons were sure they would. Go figure…

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  14. Nathan says:

    “Strategic gravel deposits.”

    So about that…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_in_Afghanistan

    But do we get a cut of the mineral wealth? Oh, No! That’s for China. China gets the rare earth minerals in Afghanistan, because…. they don’t have enough in China as it is?

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  15. Merry Christmas to the blackpill Eeyore loser crew!

    • Agree: Jack Hanson
  16. what about Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits?

    You just wait Steve Sailer – there will be gravel roads rotting in the fields!

  17. Ibound1 says:

    Trump is assuming he’s going to lose in 2020. I don’t blame him. The entire establishment including the Fed is against him.

    So he is doing what he thinks is right and what is right (to me).
    Out of Syria, Out of Afghanistan. And to hell with the people who have been consistently wrong for 50 years.

    • Replies: @Prodigal son
  18. Seneca44 says:

    A lot of military leaders claim we need to stay in Afghanistan so that our withdrawal won’t embolden the Taliban to get nukes from Pakistan. Kind of shaky logic, at best, but there are lots of crazies in that part of the world and the Paki government is not a model of stability or resistance to Islamic fundamentalism.

    Trump could really make a difference by pulling out of Afghanistan and then continuing to close down some or most of the 900+ foreign US bases.

  19. This is considered extremely irresponsible by the conventional wisdom because if the U.S. doesn’t project power west of the Khyber Pass, what about Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits?

    The Chinese will waltz right in and steal the strategic gravel deposits of Afghanistan after the American Empire departs Afghanistan.

    The Chinese will use the strategic gravel deposits of Afghanistan to create the roadbed underlayment for their One Road, One Belt, Many DeadBeat Nations project for global domination.

    The Russians will tell the Chinese it is better to have muddy roads than an Afghanistan Islamic Warrior eating figs and taking pot shots at you. The Chinese will say we know how to handle these Islamist creatures, thank you, and they will start digging into the gravel deposits greedily.

    Some sneaky intelligence operative will hatch a plan — for a good profit — to make sure the Afghanistan Islamic Warriors know how badly the Chinese treat their own Islamic populations.

    I think the CIA did that to Russia in Afghanistan some years back. That CIA plot, combined with the open borders mass immigration policies of the United States government, resulted in a dramatic change in the New York City skyline as viewed from the Hoboken train station.

  20. Whiskey says: • Website

    The Deep State will not allow this.

  21. Trump mentioned the wall that Israel uses to stop illegal infiltration — and they also have fencing systems and underground barriers and underwater obstacles to stop infiltration.

    Trump has the patriotic Jew Stephen Miller go on the Globalizer Puppy Piddler’s TV show to talk about the promiscuous misuse of the US military on multiple foreign misadventures.

    I will still challenge Trump for the GOP presidential primary nomination.

    My Immigration Policy:

    Immigration Moratorium Now!

    Deport All Illegal Aliens Now!

  22. fnn says:

    As we all remember, Al-Qaeda changed its name to something else and then it became OK for Obama to support it as one of the one of the rebel groups seeking to overthrow Assad. That led to a very successful “I didn’t join the US military to fight for Al-Qaeda” propaganda campaign. Were the Russians behind that?

  23. Empires don’t have allies, they have client states and satellites.

    Israel is not an ally of the United States.

    The only allies the American Empire has are the Canadians, the New Zealanders, the Australians and the English. I hate using Anglo-Saxon, I prefer Anglo-Celtic or Anglo-Norman, but the Anglo-Saxon nations share SOME intelligence gathering capabilities and we share blood from England.

    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt
  24. theMann says:
    @Anon7

    Those planeloads of opium flying out of Afghanistan every week are the reason we stay there. And if you actually naive enough to doubt that, let’s have a few forensic accountants take a good look at senior military (and civilian contractors) incomes. Drugs have always been, and will always be, the deal in Afghanistan, and the Deep State will do anything in order to keep the drugs flowing.

    If you think Trump trying to disengage from Syria is creating an hysterical response, wait until he tries a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    , @Anonymous
  25. BenKenobi says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    I wonder if Trump nominating Bernie as running mate for 2020 would be considered feisty, or crazy?

  26. He would be smart to do it.

    There will be some carping by the Defense establishment at first. But once American troops are out the entire country will drop off the radar and no one will care what happens.

    Do you know what internecine conflicts are currently roiling Iraq? Me neither. And like most Americans, I couldn’t care less about who’s on top and who’s not.

  27. Bush the Younger was on the right track with “Mission Accomplished,” but then he got suckered into a lasting, losing occupation by prominently broadcast pictures of the Iraqi National Museum being plundered. He could have brushed it off by saying, “Not our problem, ” but the Dems and Media suckered him into throwing himself into the Briar Patch by saying, “You broke it, now own it.”

    As for Afghanistan, aside from the obvious business of opiate production and distribution, which has been a big money maker for certain influential parties, the two other points to staying are:

    1) The US General Staff hate admitting defeat anywhere, but particularly in Afghanistan since the Sovs couldn’t win there, and they desperately hope they are better than the Sov general staff ever were, much more than the Russians are now; and

    2) We are ostensibly denying the Chinese a vital part of their Silk Road ambitions, including locking down control of a number of rare-earth elements in the region. Some of that gravel is valuable.

    • Replies: @istevefan
  28. Hail says: • Website

    “It costs $2.1 million per year for each U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan”

    14,000 soldiers deployed. That’s a lot of money.

    W-a-l-l. Case closed.

    • Agree: Bubba
  29. @Charles Pewitt

    In my zeal to state that Israel is not an ally of the American Empire, I contradicted myself by saying empires don’t have allies and then I said that the English, Canadians, New Zealanders and Australians were the only allies of the American Empire.

    The American Empire’s promiscuous and wanton use of the term “ally” was my target in the blog comment.

    The American Empire, if it has any allies at all, would have to restrict the use of the term “ally” to England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    To repeat:

    Israel Is Not An Ally Of The American Empire

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Anon87
  30. JMcG says:

    From your lips to God’s ears.

  31. Stick says:

    What is there worth winning? Just take a look at a topographic map of Afghanistan. It is a meat grinder everywhere you look. If you want it badly enough you need to start thinking of multiple Army groups to get’er done and an occupation of forty years, at least. Do you want it that bad?

  32. anon[322] • Disclaimer says:

    Afghanistan is the graveyard for any imperialist power attempting to conquer it. Every single imperial power that tried fell apart after invading Afghanistan: Britain, USSR, and now USA.

    As Amy Chua detailed well in her book Political Tribes, outside power will never be able to defeat the Taliban because they have strong tribal support. We need to stay in Afghanistan like we need a hole in the head. Tell these medieval goat herders we will bomb the living daylights out of them if they harbor terrorist groups again, then leave them the heck alone to stew in their own shite.

    • Replies: @Anon87
  33. Dr. X says:

    We can’t leave Afghanistan until they have “muh freedom” like ‘Muricans do.

    Maybe when a third of Afghanis are morbidly obese, when their women have slept with 20 partners on average, when they have Drag Queen Story Hour in their kindergartens, and when they agree to have a Burning Man or Folsom Street Fair in downtown Kabul… then we can leave.

  34. Hail says: • Website

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    Oct 7, 2011

    When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first.

    Counterpoint:

    Mark Dubowitz
    @mdubowitz
    14 hours ago

    God I miss John McCain.

  35. snorlax says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The “Bernie Left” just LOVED Dick Nixon. Thanks for the deep thoughts, Pete.

  36. @Hail

    Doobie’s father fought the gooks in South Africa, don’t you know?

    Marky, Mark suffered a hang-nail while at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, so he’s always been medically exempt from military service.

  37. anonymous[121] • Disclaimer says:

    Very impressive, out of Syria and now partly out of Afghanistan. The Taliban are indigenous and weren’t leaving anyway no matter how long the US stayed. That they might be ‘defeated’ in some way was a fraud perpetrated on the American public. Declare victory and get out. Use the money for something that might actually benefit the people of America. Whether a wall gets built or not Trump has changed the culture where the massive illegal invasion is no longer just a-ok business as usual. The deep state keeps trying to thwart him at every step but these are some good moves indeed.

  38. “…Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits?”

    Will no one think of the Lapis Lazuli trade?

    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Cortes
  39. anon[264] • Disclaimer says:

    He can only do these things only surprise announcement, because his staff and party will refuse to do it otherwise.
    Given a month, I would expect to see another obviously fake gas attack in Syria, or the equivalent ginned up vital interest elsewhere.

    The Syria action is really modest… 2,000 troops…and the collective opposition went nuts.

    Make Congress pass their own war plans over his veto to stay. In a secret ballot, they would, but these wars have too much associated odor.

    He appointed Bolton and Pompeo, so WTF did he expect. But expect nothing less than treasonous refusal to comply.

    At this point, its about all he can do.

  40. Mr. Anon says:

    Will Trump Exit Afghanistan Too?

    How can he do that? Afterall, America’s place in the World is to be a Shining Fortress on a Hill.

  41. snorlax says:

    Several commenters here are claiming the Taliban are “indigenous.” Not exactly—they’re funded and armed by, trained in camps located in and largely recruited from within Pakistan.

    The reason to pull out of Afghanistan is it’s impossible to ever defeat the Taliban without invading their puppet-masters in Pakistan, and because our withdrawal would make it a pure proxy war between Pakistan and Iran, very costly for both sides.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    , @anon
    , @J.Ross
  42. Mr. Anon says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    No, but we seem to be an ally of theirs.

    • Replies: @Fredrik
  43. Mr. Anon says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    It always seemed to me that Trump would have been much better off acting more Nixonian and having a truly populist domestic economic policy to neuter the left on foreign policy and immigration ……………………

    And as a result, that cemented the support of the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the rest of elite liberal opinion to Nixon’s cause, didn’t it?

  44. Mr. Anon says:

    This is considered extremely irresponsible by the conventional wisdom because if the U.S. doesn’t project power west of the Khyber Pass, what about Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits?

    Perhaps the CIA could build a big ship to mine gravel nodules from the ocean floor.

    • Replies: @Detective Club
  45. snorlax says:
    @snorlax

    Also because Iran and Pakistan have their own reasons for caring about Afghanistan’s strategic gravel deposits, but we do not.

    (Afghanistan probably does have significant strategic rare earth mineral deposits, but not $2.1mm/soldier/year’s worth).

  46. mr. wild says:

    It’ll be easier than leaving Afghanistan than Syria because there’s no hot Kurdish girls with AK’s posing as anarcho-feminist freedom fighters to sucker the Facebook left. The armchair warriors who want to stay need a Masha Gessen publicist.

  47. @BenKenobi

    I doubt either man would be interested in that proposition.

  48. mobi says:

    It’s a ploy.

    If he gets his Wall, he will back off on pullouts.

    The same Deep State/Swamp/Neocon/Israel-Lobby currently obstructing the wall are the ones in panic over withdrawal talk.

    ‘If I can’t single-handedly put up a Wall, let me show you some things I can do.’

    Pure Trump.

    • Replies: @mobi
  49. I’m with Derb on this: let’s gtfo after warning these morons that we will be back to punish them severely if they get out of line.

    To paraphrase Bismarck, “Afghanistan is not worth the bones of a US Marine.” If the locals can’t get up the gumption to toss the Taliban, that’s their problem, not mine.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  50. Fredrik says:
    @Mr. Anon

    You’re a satellite or client.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  51. Fredrik says:

    Good move to leave Syria. Hopefully everyone will leave Afghanistan next. After that it’s time for Trump to re-assess Iran. That won’t happen I’m afraid…

  52. mobi says:

    Trump should re-name the Defense Department, ‘da-FENCE Department’, until he gets his wall.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  53. Nathan says:
    @Martin Davies

    That gravel comment is getting a lot of traction, but they really do have something like 3 trillion dollars worth of completely untapped mineral assets. When I was in Logar provence the Chinese were trying to get their hands on an absolutely massive copper mine. China has already cornered the market on a few rare earth minerals.

  54. @Mr. Anon

    Do you mean clean out RBG’s diseased lungs? A news flash sez she’s ridden with some really bad nodules. If there is a Supreme Court vacancy in the near future, “Cocaine” Mitch will have to order up straight jackets for 47 crazed Dems. It will be Christine Blasey-Ford times 10!

  55. mobi says:
    @mobi

    Boy, Chuck is probably sweating right about now. And catching an earful from ‘you-know-who’.

  56. Cortes says:
    @Martin Davies

    Plenty of the blue stuff in Chile.

    (I was looking for a gift for my daughter and got her a nice brooch in an outlet with a huge range of items.)

  57. @Anonymous

    – as always provoked by US military intervention …

    Yeah, like the massive immigration we’ve had from Mexico, “provoked” by our intervention there. Or our invasion of Ireland back in 1845 that sent a bunch of my ancestors scurrying to the United States.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  58. Cortes says:

    The loss of the strategic gravel deposits could have a crunching effect on aggregate demand.

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
  59. Will Trump Exit Afghanistan Too?

    Please! Let us declare victory and exit “the Great Game”.

  60. Navarth says:

    Your recommendation has a lot of brand sense.

    When a company commits a public relations disaster resulting in economic catastrophe, they can merely change their name and remove the stain and continue working their magic.

    Why couldn’t these United States simply rename itselves something like One Nation and voila’, all past political indiscretions are now simply old history, and attributable to that evil country of the past?

  61. Even this woman, who used to stand for non-intervention, is slamming Trump over the Syria withdrawal. Muh “responsible” withdrawal.

    But then she walked it back a bit with some follow-up tweets saying Lindsey Graham and the neocons are wrong!

    Things seem a bit confusing to Rep. Gabbard.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  62. @theMann

    Agree, but you left out the banks. The banks set to launder the heroin money and those, like the civilian contractors and their political patrons, who have financial interests in those banks.

    • Replies: @Gapeseed
  63. @Digital Samizdat

    Excellent.

    Hopefully Trump has learned–belatedly, way too slowly–that he needs personnel who actually support his agenda. “Personnel is policy”. You can’t “drain the swamp” if you put swamp creatures in charge.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  64. @Detective Club

    I do not wish harm on the old lady, but I would enjoy another bout of bat-crap crazy from my liberal friends.

  65. ATBOTL says:

    The neocons on Free Republic are not going quietly on this:

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3714381/posts?q=1&;page=1

    Some truly epic boomer posting from the Freeper neocon faction…There are dozens more in the thread:

    Oh…oh…I know! Ron Paul! Yeah, that’s it! Pick Paul or his boy, PDJT! Would that be sick, er wut? Yeah, dood! Hippies rule! Whirled peas and harmony!

    [Little big pile of irony and sarcasm with extra stench there.]

    Actually, I think he should pick one of the freepers on here that are all for pulling our troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. These ‘experts’ (most of whom have probably never stepped foot in the Middle East) should be able to do that job quite well.

    People need to wake up and smell the coffee!! Yes, I like President Donald J. Trump. That does not mean that I will slavishly follow him over the cliff. On these foreign policy decisions he is dead wrong!! On this issue he is out of his league and needs to listen to his advisers.

    On a side note, I had to crack up watching Nazi and Chucky almost well up in tears talking about the departure of Gen Mattis. I guarantee these two probably can’t stand him but will take any moment to preen for the camera how Trump is ruining this country. Gen Mattis will be a big loss and will be missed, however no one is irreplaceable. There are a number of good candidates to get however they will all counsel him that this is a bad move playing into Russia and Turkey’s hands. He needs to pick a good Defense Secretary and quietly pull back on doing this. President Trump is not making any friends in the military by doing this. The military wants to complete the job, not pull out knowing they will be causing a new mess for future soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines.

    Keane only does war except for being a strategic adviser and lobbyist for defense contractors.

    He would refuse to work with a president who gives Iran space to expand and build up anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Cotton would refuse, too. And so would any high ranking officer who is honest.

    Liberaltarians who push against defense make a lot of noise, but there aren’t many of them in the USA as compared to Americans.

    Gentleman, the real ‘muricans have spoken.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  66. Please remember peace is how we make it;
    It’s there within your reach, if you’re big enough to take it.

    –Ringo

  67. Hank Yobo says:
    @Black Death

    Only the first of the three Anglo-Afghan wars were a decisive defeat for the British. The other two (1878-1880 and 1919) produced more results favorable to continued British control of the sub-continent.

    • Replies: @anon
  68. @Nathan

    The US can’t get minerals out of Afghanistan. The only way they have in or out of Afghanistan is through Pakistan (or alternatively, Iran, or through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan into Russia). Afghanistan is land locked and has no ports to ship material out of.

    You could fly materials out but it would never be worth the cost of the fuel. Raw ores coming out of the ground are basically rocks, and the rocks have maybe 5% by weight of the mineral you are looking to get out of them and the rest is just dirt-like garbage you’d be paying air freight on.

    You could try to extract and refine the minerals out of the ore on site, that is the most sensible thing to do and how it is done. The only problem is, it’s in Afghanistan. Who wants to invest in Afghanistan? It’s not stable. We’d definitely still need the whole War on Terror there trying to provide security and the refineries would probably still get blown up. We’d have to hire a bunch of western engineers and convince them to go to Afghanistan somehow so they could get kidnapped and killed.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @anon
  69. KunioKun says:

    The last few days with neocons has been absolute bliss. It would be hilarious if Trump showed up in Afghanistan or Iraq in front of a bunch of soldiers and said “Who wants to go home?” and have them cheer. Or get a bunch of their family members all crowded into a room and ask “Who wants their men home?” How about, “Where would you rather be, here, in muslimistan, or in Southern California?”

    Has Democracy Now made the case that we need to send more soldiers to Syria yet?

  70. Enochian says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    A few decades ago, Trump’s platform of protect-our-jobs from outsourcing and immigration might have worked in alliance with a broader left wing platform that had unionized labor at its core, and indeed, Trump used to be a registered democrat. But liberalism has changed, it’s impractical to win the presidency without being part of one of the two major parties, so Trump has no choice but to ally with the Republican party. Still, it’s interesting to imagine what an economically left wing MAGA would look like.

  71. Sean says:

    In Afghanistan–as in Vietnam–resolve demonstrated. The withdrawal will aid in getting South Korea and Japan to pay up a little more for their defence, maybe. No great change in policy from Obama and Bush, just a bit more decisive.

  72. CNN was on at my lunch hole and they had an extended segment with everyone’s favorite neocon patsy, Lindsey Graham who recently visited the troops in Afghanistan. He was loudly predicting another 9/11 if we pull out the troops. Of course since 9/11 we have lost more American lives fighting in the middle east that were lost when the towers fell. And the cost of these wars since 2001 has cost U.S nearly six trillion that’s trillion dollars. Not sure what was worse for the USA, 9/11 or the endless war afterwards. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/14/us-has-spent-5point9-trillion-on-middle-east-asia-wars-since-2001-study.html

  73. Trump needs to do it and do it fast. Before a false flag can take flight.

    Let the establishment foreign policy “experts” howl for more war. It will just reinforce how treasonous and stupid they are.

    No more turd polishing in the mid-east.

  74. Daniel H says:
    @BenKenobi

    >>I wonder if Trump nominating Bernie as running mate for 2020 would be considered feisty, or crazy?

    Nominating Bernie as Veep would be brilliant, and it would demonstrate that Trump has been playing 4-D chess all along.

  75. Mr. Blank says:

    It’s funny, since 9/11 I’ve evolved from being more-or-less a neocon (though I wouldn’t have used that term) to mostly an isolationist. I’ve tried to construct various stories to logically explain my conversion, but none of them are very satisfying.

    Basically, I supported a muscular, expansionist foreign policy when I imagined the U.S. had a corps of wise professionals capable of administering such a project. Since 9/11 it has become progressively clearer to me that no such group of individuals exists. It may be that such men never existed; nevertheless, they certainly don’t exist now, and as best I can tell, there is no systematic or organized effort in any part of society to build and train such men for the future. The institutions theoretically charged with that have all disappeared up their own assholes. What we have instead are low-T, soft-skinned paper men who possess immense book knowledge, but none of the hardy, real-world virtues that would equip them for the task of competent stewardship, either at home or abroad.

    I’m not (yet) so cynical as to think it’s all a con, even if many of these guys are con men — when has politics not attracted soulless grifters? But I’m no longer willing to allow America’s blood and treasure to be squandered by such a manifestly incompetent band of louts. Like an investor whose growth portfolio has consistently bombed, my appetite for risk has evaporated, and I want all my assets plowed into something dull and safe, where I can keep an eye on it.

    Trust has to be earned, and once earned, it is easy to squander. For me, the past 17 years has been the total squandering by our thumbless elites of all the trust built up in the 70-odd years before 9/11. If they want to go forth playing empire again, they’ll have to build back all that trust — and I can’t see it being done within my lifetime. As far as I’m concerned, the Max Boots of the world are grounded for the rest of their lives.

    • Agree: Bill B.
  76. Mr. Anon says:
    @Fredrik

    Yes, I meant to write “ally” in quotes.

  77. Mr. Anon says:
    @ATBOTL

    Come the great crack-up, those idiots will still be clutching their Band of Brothers full DVD set, while their nursing home is overrun by mexican bandito armies. They don’t realize the country they owe allegiance to is already dead and has been for years.

  78. Mr. Anon says:
    @AnotherDad

    Ireland? You’re talking ancient history. Since Vietnam, our military adventures have all resulted in streams of immigration to our shores: South-East Asia, Central America, Somalia, the Middle-East. These fall in addition to the other sources we are subject to because we just have stupid immigration laws. The warfare/immigration link is not imaginary; it is very real.

    • Replies: @anon
  79. ” we punished them appropriately for their negligence in hosting Osama ”

    It does rather beg the question of what punishment is appropriate for Jeb Bush for his negligence in hosting, and giving flying lessons to the Hijackers of 9/11/01?

    When will this be meted out to him?

  80. @Black Death

    The Great Khan requests you study your history.

    • Replies: @BB753
  81. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but 30 years after Lockerbie a woman whose dad was in the PFLP-GC (or something) says the Iranians did it, not the Libyans.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6518561/Was-IRAN-Lockerbie-Terrorists-daughter-says-Tehran-ordered-bombing.html

    I always assumed they were #1 suspect – after all, 5 months before the US had killed 290 Iranians on a civil flight.

    On the other hand, this could just be a case of reviving it now because If Assad Wins Then Iran Wins or something.

  82. @Jim Don Bob

    “If the locals can’t get up the gumption to toss the Taliban, that’s their problem, not mine.”

    The Taliban wasn’t that bad a government, considering. A lot better than the warlords who carved the country up after Russian troops left. If they hadn’t sheltered Bin Laden they may still have been in power today.

  83. @Hail

    I knew that there had to have been somebody (other than his family members) who missed St. John of Forrestal.

  84. Who will be the last soldier to die for the [neo-con] deception?

  85. @Nathan

    No war for completely untapped mineral assets.

  86. AndrewR says:
    @BenKenobi

    After seeing Bernie’s cowardly response to the angry black females in Seattle or wherever who stole the mic from him, I lost all respect for him

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  87. this is c. the 19th time that Trump has announced a “withdrawal” of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

    it’s a placeholder for #20. Meanwhile,

    “the worms crawl in,

    the worms crawl out,

    the worms play pinochle

    on yer snout”

  88. Quick way out.

    The Taliban ‘surrenders,’ we declare victory and leave, and then since we don’t actually even notice what goes on in Afghanistan, they can do what they want.

  89. I’m for pulling out of both Syria and Afghanistan, both s—hole countries. Let their native folks die for their country; Americans should not.

    I feel the same about NATO. Let the Euros fight for their own countries. I cannot imagine fighting for France or Germany. None of them will EVER fight for our country.

    The Canadians would help us because they are in the boat with us due to geography just as we would defend Mexico from external attack. Let every country handle its own issues. The Aussies can’t get here to help us even if they wanted to help.

    The Bush credo got us into too much trouble and debt with little return for us.

  90. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:

    If he did, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

    From Sept 2018:

    Trump was opposed to remaining in America’s longest war, but was convinced by his advisers to give it more time. He authorized last year the deployment an additional 3,000 U.S. troops, bringing the total to around 15,000.

    Nearly a year later, the current situation is in a stalemate in which Afghan civilians are paying a heavy toll, the Taliban are expanding in rural areas but are unable to capture major urban centers and the capability of Afghan security forces remains in doubt.
    Several current U.S. officials and other former officials and advisers with direct knowledge said the White House had not yet formally ordered the review, but they were preparing for a government-wide appraisal in the next few months.

       “We’ve received some indications from the White House that Trump could ask for a review in the next few months. So we’re preparing for what it would look like,” said a senior U.S. official?

    LONGEST WAR

        “The president has asked repeatedly what progress we’ve made in Afghanistan since he made his decision, and how much we’ve invested there since 2001,” said one senior official with first-hand knowledge of the ongoing debate over Afghan policy.

    “He’s voiced his frustration about the lack of progress many, many times, basically asking ‘What have we got for all that money?’”
    Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center, said that if there had meaningful progress in Afghanistan, a review would be unlikely.
    “The administration could essentially say (after the review) that the conditions have not improved on the ground, so what is the reason to stay,” Kugelman said.
    It is not unprecedented for the White House to request such an internal review. Officials said a similar review was carried out after President Barack Obama unveiled an Afghanistan strategy in 2009.

    Was Trump reckless or overly cautious when he gave the Generals 3,000 troops and a year to make progress?

    How was the Mad Dog planning to explain this?

    Perhaps he was taking orders from Bolton.

    Of course, the immediate history of this mess will be memory holed in favor of the narrative of Trump’s impulsiveness.

  91. rufus says:

    Afghexit bitches

    • Replies: @Hail
  92. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:

    As late as November everyone had given up on anything but the final withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    https://www.hoover.org/research/fighting-leave-devolution-american-war-aims-afghanistan

    Now the NYT and the rest of the MSM want to retcon this and call it impulsive.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  93. istevefan says:
    @The Alarmist

    Bush the Younger was on the right track with “Mission Accomplished,” but then he got suckered into a lasting, losing occupation

    That is the problem. We seem to want to stick around after the initial victory. If you ever get into a discussion with a neocon who supports us going to war with Iran, bring up the fact that occupying a nation that is more populous than Iraq will be a task too big to do. They will usually say that we don’t have to occupy Iran. We just have to militarily defeat them to force regime change. Then ask them why that was not our strategy in Iraq or Afghanistan? They will either BS you or admit that occupation of those two nations was a colossal mistake.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  94. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon7

    really because it was deafening the entire bush presidency then i never heard another anti word during the entire 8 years obama pursued the exact or worse policy

  95. @anon

    ‘…Now the NYT and the rest of the MSM want to retcon this and call it impulsive.’

    That’s what gets to me. I voted for him, because the alternatives were worse, but my expectations of Mr Trump were never very high. On the whole, I’d actually say I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised — but that is not saying much.

    I wasn’t prepared for just how utterly mendacious, craven, partisan, and indifferent to the greater good the ‘NYT and the rest of the MSM’ has been, though. That’s been an authentic disappointment.

  96. George says:

    The end of the wars is the start of the recriminations. With trillions in debt, there will be lots of recriminations.

  97. ‘There are a lot of rumors that Trump is considering ending America’s war in Afghanistan after 17 years.’

    Well now, let’s not be hasty. After all seventeen years is nearly a generation.

    It’s a tradition – kind of like baseball or something. America fights in Afghanistan. We play our games, they play theirs.

    This could go on forever. Are we prepared to just walk away from that?

  98. anon[343] • Disclaimer says:

    The WSJ has pretty much lost its will to argue that there is any worthwhile objective to be gained by remaining in Afghanistan.

    That leaves battling Lindsay Graham and the Gray Lady with the heavy lifting.

  99. @Anonymous

    ” immigration as always provoked by US military intervention” It happened in Vietnam, Cuba, and now from the Middle East. We will never learn.

    • Replies: @anon
  100. Nathan says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Look, bruh, Cecil Rhodes didn’t belly ache about how all the diamonds were way down in Africa where nobody could get them. He got his damn diamonds.

    3 trillion dollars provides a LOT of solutions to problems that come along on your way to getting it.

  101. @Detective Club

    All Trump has to do is nominate a retired Anglican nun. A law degree is not a requisite to be with the Supremes.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  102. Anon[429] • Disclaimer says:

    Hello, I am Trump supporter #85750B. Although I have always been supportive of President Trump, this latest thing that has done has really crossed the line. At this point, I am totally done with DRUMPF. He has betrayed his base for the last time, and is now slated to lose in 2020. I will be taking down all signs from my yard, and informing all my friends and family so I won’t be tempted to go back. Won’t someone please think of the Kurds!

    • Replies: @Hail
  103. @Interested Bystander

    Yeah, rather than renaming the Taliban to “the United Afghan Front”, which would give them more credit than is due, we should rename them to be “the Pashtun Particularist Party”, which not only does not give them undue credit, but has the virtue of being true as well.

  104. snorlax says:
    @Simply Simon

    a retired Anglican nun

    That he found handcuffing herself to a chain link fence at the no nukes protest?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  105. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @theMann

    The deeply buried mineral resources in Afghanistan are worth orders of magnitude more than opiates, which after all are only valuable since banned. The Afghans are just in the way and will be cleared out when someone decides it’s worth the candle to change the geopolitics by changing the geography rather than the people. Mohammed really never moved a mountain, but then again, he didn’t have D-10 Caterpillars and explosives either.

  106. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @snorlax

    Handcuffs are easily cut at the chain by anyone with the right saw- or a pair of jumper cables and a piece of coat hanger if you don’t mind a few molten steel splatters.

    Little LMM and a friend famously cyanoacrylate glued themselves together at the hands-that is much more effective if the polity is not brutal enough to lop a hand off.

  107. MBlanc46 says:

    The US was reasonably in Afghanistan for two or three weeks after 11 SEP 2001. Long enough for a rapid response force to either find Bin Laden or for it to become clear that he had succeeded in escaping. The seventeen years since have been a tragic and completely unjustified waste of lives, treasure, and reputation.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  108. Whiskey says: • Website

    A federal Judge will over ride Trump s order. Like everything else.

  109. anon[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Lotta gas in Afghanistan.
    You’d need to build a pipeline following one of the rivers down into Pakistan, and install an Army/Air Force to protect it.

  110. @Bragadocious

    I believe Limbaugh has the correct analysis: Trump cannot be allowed to have a “win.” Whatever he wants must be denied him, whatever he does must be harshly criticized. The most important thing to the Swamp is that Trump appear impotent.

  111. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @snorlax

    Whatever sport. They are still a heck of a lot more indigenous then Uncle Sam is.

  112. @AnotherDad

    Trump has learned…that he needs personnel who actually support his agenda.

    I suppose he could recruit them from the commenters here, but he sure isn’t going to find them in Washington.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  113. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hank Yobo

    And where are the British today sport? To say nothing of the fact that much of the sub-continent has now moved to Britain.

    The U.K. The very first invade the world – invite the world dingbats.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  114. @AndrewR

    Yes, that and the aftermath of the 2015 Ezra Klein interview. In that interview, Sanders demonstrated that he knows an open borders policy is bad for American workers. However, he was condemned on the Left for his outdated concerns and he immediately did a 180 and embraced the current party line. I found that contemptible.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  115. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Anon

    What goes around comes around. When you go out invading the world, the world invariably comes back to invade you too (in one capacity or another). Countries that tend to have “mind my own business” foreign policies seem to have a high correlation with low rates of immigration. Countries that tend to have activist/aggressive overseas policies tend to have high rates of immigration. Look how America invaded South Vietnam in 1965 and also opened its doors to the world that same year.

  116. BenKenobi says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    I call being Trump’s Beria!

    Double stamped, no erase-ies.

  117. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @Simply Simon

    One could add Puerto Rico to that list. All Puerto Ricans are now U.S. citizens and millions have moved to the USA because of America’s foolish military actions against Spain. Had America not engaged in a war of choice with Spain this would not have happened.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  118. J.Ross says: • Website
    @snorlax

    This doesn’t make them not indigeneous because Pathanistan overlaps both countries: from their point of view, they never left.

  119. @Detective Club

    I share your concern. On the other hand the Deep State war against Trump is so open and overt at this point that an actual assassination would require shifting from a Brave New World style soft control system to an Orwellian 1984 style dystopian police state. Don’t know if “they” are prepared for that.

  120. Hail says: • Website
    @rufus

    Afghexit

    Amazing, but Google records just two lonely uses of “Afghexit.” Such a term became possible following the rise of the terms “Grexit” and especially its larger successor “Brexit” by the mid 2010s. Cf.: “Turkexit” gets 300 hits; “Japexit” and “Korexit” each get lots.

    Here is the first use of ‘Afghexit’; by a Matt Peterson (Sept. 2016, Medium.com)

    66 percent of districts in Afghanistan were under government control at the end of May, a nearly 5 percent drop since January. It’s just one more sign that that #Afghexit is getting less and less likely for U.S. troops.

    A few weeks after he wrote this, the liberal interventionist candidate lost. Yet I recall no mainstream discussion of getting out of Afghanistan in late 2016, or 2017, or 2018 (until December, when, in the words of an iSteve commenter, Trump “began killing hostages to show he was serious” on the border wall).

    The second use of “Afghexit,” as picked up by google, is Dec. 19, 2018, at the inimitable iSteve blog (“No $5bn for Wall, But $11bn for MesoAmerica?”; see post #24):

    JohnnyWalker123: We don’t want to “cut and run.” [sarcastic in context]

    Mr. Anon: When it came to Afghanistan, even Alexander the Great “cut and ran”. We will eventually do likewise, one way or t’other.

    Hail: Will we cut and run from California first?
    #Afghexit vs. #CalExit

    iSteve commenter rufus may be the third person on the planet to use “Afghexit.”

    I’m genuinely surprised that no one has bothered grabbing this low-hanging fruit before. Lesson: Few have even bothered even talking about the USA’s endless, quasi-imperial commitment in Afghanistan. It was never an issue under discussion; if it were, more people would’ve independently come up with “Afghexit.”

    • Replies: @Svigor
  121. anon[111] • Disclaimer says:

    “The neocons on the Free Republic…”

    Gross. The Free Republic is a hangout for sycophants, Bush-era rejects, and boomer weirdos. The commentary is mostly a few lines of poorly thought out commentary interspersed with donation calls for upkeep of their 1990s website they refuse to update. Don’t take them seriously. The few critical thinkers they had were banned from the website years or decades ago.

  122. “United Afghan Front”?

    Why not just the Anti-Pederast Party? That would play well with the soccer moms. Remind them of Kevin Spacey.

    Bill Kauffman could advise the reconstituted Taliban, as he’s from the home of the Anti-Masonic Party and knows a lot about it.

  123. Gapeseed says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Couple withdrawal from Afghanistan with a complete legalization of the drug trade. Grow the stuff here, tax it, regulate it, and offer free and comprehensive treatment centers for the addicts. Given the figures thrown about here (plus the gigantic costs of the police-judicial-prison complex), it could literally save trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

    • Replies: @Travis
  124. @Harry Baldwin

    However, he was condemned on the Left for his outdated concerns and he immediately did a 180 and embraced the current party line. I found that contemptible.

    There are few immigrants in Vermont. That alone is suspicious. Francophones could even outnumber Spanish-speakers, which sure ain’t true in the rest of the country. The Canada/Latin America ratio is forty times that of the US as a whole.

    https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/money/2014/07/31/vermont-immigration-patterns-differ-us/13402973/

    • Replies: @snorlax
  125. @istevefan

    “Then ask them why that was not our strategy in Iraq or Afghanistan? They will either BS you or admit that occupation of those two nations was a colossal mistake.”

    No, they will sputter and melt down, calling you an idiot or un-American.

  126. snorlax says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Francophones could even outnumber Spanish-speakers, which sure ain’t true in the rest of the country.

    Pretty sure that’s still the case in Maine, maybe New Hampshire too. I remember seeing a while back that Hispanophones now outnumber Francophones in Louisiana, which you can toss on the pile of depressing demographic statistics.

  127. Anonym says:

    Miller is schooling Wolf. Wolf is starting to really show his age.

    • Replies: @Hail
  128. Escher says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Is that to keep the heroin flowing into inner cities and prevent the emergence of mini Wakandas in America?

  129. BB753 says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Excellent observation! The reason nobody can pacify places like Iraq or Afghanistan is that in order to do that you need to go medieval on their asses. Fight the Mongol way. Who’s ready to do that today? (Apart from ISIS).

    • Replies: @snorlax
  130. Realist says:

    Will Trump Exit Afghanistan Too?

    Let’s wait and see if he exits Syria….there are so many places to exit from. Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Guam, Germany, Britain, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Norway and on and on.

  131. snorlax says:
    @BB753

    While you mean this as sarcasm, it’s pretty much accurate. Although it’s not as much the Mongol way as the traditional (and fully Geneva Convention compliant) laws of war that everyone followed until the 1960s or so when they were quietly trashed by far-left entryist lawyers who finagled their way into writing the rules of engagement.

    Romans to Mau-Maus, virtually every time a well-trained and hundreds of thousands strong European army bringing to bear the finest state-of-the-art arms faced a guerilla force of tens of thousands of illiterate tribesmen, the former rapidly and utterly crushed all resistance by the latter. Since then, despite a much wider disparity in training, technology and manpower, the latter seem to always “defeat” the former.

    Pre-1960s Europeans* were not idiots, and they were well aware that combatants wearing civilian clothes instead of uniforms had a massive advantage in evading detection by, ambushing and slipping away from opposing forces. Thus, the laws of war have a simple and elegant solution.

    A uniformed soldier who is captured is entitled to certain protections. He may be kept prisoner, but he may not be killed, tortured nor otherwise mistreated and must be adequately fed, provided necessary medical care and shelter and to the extent practicable word transmitted to the enemy of his capture.

    A combatant who is captured and who is not wearing a uniform is not a soldier and is not entitled to any protection under the laws of war. He may be summarily executed or treated as a common criminal, at his captors’ pleasure.

    And so, even groups such as the Continental Army and the Yugoslav Partisans made sure to wear uniforms. When the Allies dropped supplies to resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Europe, among the most in-demand supplies they dropped were uniforms. Un-uniformed guerillas were always wholly ineffective except in a minor supporting role for an actual field army.

    *And Chinese+others, though they haven’t bought into modern Western idiocy and aren’t likely to in the future.

    • Replies: @BB753
    , @Svigor
  132. BB753 says:
    @snorlax

    Your observation is truly accurate, but I didn’t mention the Mongols just in jest.
    “Submit or perish” is the only way to defeat a rebellion. But a mountain of skulls makes for bad PR on CNN.
    That’s also the reason Roman supremacy lasted so many centuries.

  133. Hank Yobo says:
    @anon

    A lot of the Ganges flowed under a bridge between David Lloyd George and Tony Blair.

  134. anonymous[443] • Disclaimer says:

    Sure, it’s a little embarrassing to exit with the Taliban still in business, but to be honest, we punished them appropriately for their negligence in hosting Osama way back in 2001 by driving them out of power.

    Are you claiming the Taliban didn’t actively work with Osama? How many thousands of Al-Qaeda were in Afghanistan in 2001? How in the world is that level of responsibility of the Taliban simply called “negligence”?

  135. Svigor says:
    @snorlax

    Romans to Mau-Maus, virtually every time a well-trained and hundreds of thousands strong European army bringing to bear the finest state-of-the-art arms faced a guerilla force of tens of thousands of illiterate tribesmen, the former rapidly and utterly crushed all resistance by the latter. Since then, despite a much wider disparity in training, technology and manpower, the latter seem to always “defeat” the former.

    Pre-1960s Europeans* were not idiots, and they were well aware that combatants wearing civilian clothes instead of uniforms had a massive advantage in evading detection by, ambushing and slipping away from opposing forces. Thus, the laws of war have a simple and elegant solution.

    Uniformed armies are the historical exception, not the rule. Really, uniformed armies seem to be a western European thing, and a relatively recent one, at that. I dunno when they became the norm in that limited demesne, but if I had to guess I’d say 17th century. Obviously they’ve recently become a thing elsewhere.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  136. Svigor says:
    @Hail

    #Afexit is so much better.

  137. Hail says: • Website
    @Anon

    Won’t someone please think of the Kurds!

    Surprised to see but there is a major caucus in the U.S. Congress for that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_American_Caucus

    Dozens of members. One fewer in 2019:

    Joseph “I can’t help that I was born White” Crowley (D-Unemployed)

  138. @Detective Club

    Since Dr Professor Ford failed the next trump justice will probably be accused of being a nazi prison camp guard instead of just a serial rapist.

  139. Hail says: • Website
    @Anonym

    I think there was an intra-Jewish thing going on there.

    Blitzer, Jewish and now in his 70s, was talking down to young Jew Miller (mid 30s) in a way that perhaps he would not a Christian. He felt at liberty to talk down to Miller because of the implied familial-diasporic tie of the Jewishness.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  140. Anon87 says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    I vote for the Ozzies as well. The way London is going I’m not so sure about England anymore.

  141. Anon87 says:
    @anon

    I wonder if the pending Chinese Empire might actually win using a different approach….mass demographic change versus militarily. Our Southern border shows how easy this can be, even sending caravans of people thousands of miles. If there is one resource the Chinese have never been shy about using it is the excess of people capital. Closer than Africa is for some of those natural resources, maybe a bit more pushback from the locals than the pliable Africans have. Demoghraphics!

    Not to say I approve, but they do seem smart enough to take a different approach.

  142. @Ibound1

    If Trump brings our troops home he will easily get re-elected. These endless wars are not popular. The last 3 presidential elections were won by those who opposed endless military actions across the Globe.

    The democratic candidates will certainly not campaign on a platform to send more troops to Syria or Afghanistan. Bringing our troops home can only help Trump win in 2020.

  143. @anon

    Puerto Ricans have US citizenship because the US Congress passed a law in 1917, way past the Spanish-American War.

    “On March 2, 1917, the Jones–Shafroth Act was signed, collectively making Puerto Ricans United States citizens without rescinding their Puerto Rican citizenship. In 1922, the U.S. Supreme court in the case of Balzac v. Porto Rico ruled that the full protection and rights of the U.S constitution do not apply to residents of Puerto Rico until they come to reside in the United States proper. Luis Muñoz Rivera, who participated in the creation of the Jones-Shafroth Act, gave a speech in the U.S. House floor that argued in favor of Puerto Rican citizenship. He declared that “if the earth were to swallow the island, Puerto Ricans would prefer American citizenship to any citizenship in the world. But as long as the island existed, the residents preferred Puerto Rican citizenship.”[23] The Jones Act allowed locals to renounce the United States citizenship and remain exclusively Puerto Rican citizens, at the cost of being stripped of the right to vote.[24] Despite these arbitrary limitations, 287 residents completed the process to forfeit the statutory recognition.[24]

    “In 1952, upon U.S. Congress approving the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, also reaffirmed that Puerto Rican citizenship continued in full force. This was further reaffirmed in 2006 while the U.S. Senate probed into the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s status.[4] In 1953, U.S Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., in a memorandum sent to the United Nations, recognized that “the people of Puerto Rico continue to be citizens of the United States as well as of Puerto Rico.”[5]

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

  144. Travis says:
    @Gapeseed

    good point. Legalization would save us trillions of dollars, crush the cartels and reduce violence.

  145. Anonym says:
    @Hail

    Maybe so.

    At 70 he is getting fat, blotchy and does not have the quickness on his feet he used to. Of course, he does not have a good argument to make in the first place so there is that.

  146. Anonymous[872] • Disclaimer says:

    The point of the Afghan presence is to put pressure on Iran. Fighting the Taliban is just a pretext.

  147. Romanian says: • Website
    @Nathan

    That does not sound much, compared to what you are spending by being there, not just in every year, but for decades from now on, even in case of a pullout, because of the cost of care etc.

    Tim Worstall from Forbes made the point that X trillion in untapped reserves is misleading – because exploitation costs will eat into that supposed sum, especially given the lack of infrastructure and security. This is not Australia.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/07/27/dear-president-trump-afghanistans-minerals-arent-very-valuable-theyre-really-not/#367734042615

  148. @Detective Club

    Kennedy made at least seven major foreign policy decisions that angered the deep state before November of 1963:

    1961

    1. He refused to send in the Navy and the Marines to “save” the Cubans at the Bay of Pigs (and then he fired Dulles and Lemnitzer)
    2. He refused to send in troops to “save” Laos – instead he accepted a “neutral” solution
    3. He refused to use force to confront the Soviets over the building of the Berlin Wall
    4. He denied the JCS their request/demand for US combat troops to Vietnam in November of 1961

    1962

    5. He ended the Cuban Missile Crisis with diplomacy that not only allowed Khrushchev to save face, but denied the JCS their hoped for invasion (Curtis LeMay called it “the greatest defeat in our history”)

    1963

    6. His American University speech promised an end to the Cold War. His successful pursuit of the Nuclear Test Ban treaty was an important step in that direction
    7. He was using back channels to begin some kind of future normalization of relations with Castro in Cuba

    8. He formally accepted the Taylor/McNamara recommendations for withdrawal from Vietnam on October 5, 1963, and issued NSAM 263, but he directed that no public announcement be made at that time.
    A close study of the material changes in the draft of NSAM 273 – prepared for Kennedy on 11/21 but released on 11/25 under LBJ, reveals that the seeds of the future American buildup in Vietnam occurred within hours of the assassination.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  149. Anonymous[138] • Disclaimer says:

    1. He refused to send in the Navy and the Marines to “save” the Cubans at the Bay of Pigs (and then he fired Dulles and Lemnitzer)
    2. He refused to send in troops to “save” Laos – instead he accepted a “neutral” solution
    3. He refused to use force to confront the Soviets over the building of the Berlin Wall
    4. He denied the JCS their request/demand for US combat troops to Vietnam in November of 1961

    Weakness, weakness, weakness. The world is a schoolyard and if the new kid shows any weakness he will be destroyed. Kennedy’s presidency ended for all practical purposes in 1961. After that he was only reacting to events – being pushed around – not directing them.

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