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Will War Cancel Trump's Triumphs?
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Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, “I survived.”

Donald Trump can make the same boast.

No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ’50s, nor Richard Nixon in Watergate, received such intensive and intemperate coverage and commentary as has our 45th president.

Whatever one may think of Trump, he is a leader and a fighter, not a quitter. How many politicians could have sustained the beatings Trump has taken, and remained as cocky and confident?

And looking back on what may fairly be called The Year of Trump, his achievements have surprised even some of his enemies.

With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

The economy, with the boot of Barack Obama off its neck, has been growing at 3 percent. The stock market has soared to record highs. Unemployment is down to 4 percent. And Trump and Congress just passed the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan.

With deregulation, which conservative Republicans preached to deaf ears in the Bush I and Bush II eras, Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.

Pipelines Obama blocked have been approved. Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge has been opened to exploratory drilling. We have exited a Paris climate accord that favored China over the U.S.

Though Beijing’s trade surplus with us is returning to record highs, a spirit of “America First” economic nationalism is pervasive among U.S. trade negotiators,

The one justice named to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, appears in the Antonin Scalia tradition. And under Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Senate judiciary committee is moving conservatives and strict constructionists onto U.S. appellate and district courts.

Politically, however, the year brought bad news, with portents of worse to come. In November, the Republican Party was thrashed in Virginia, losing all state offices, and then lost a Senate seat in Alabama.

Given polls showing Trump under water and the GOP running 10 points behind the Democratic Party in favorability, there is a possibility the GOP could lose the House in 2018.

And though Democrats have three times as many seats at risk in 2018, the GOP losing the Senate is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Should that happen, the conservative dream of a recapture of the U.S. Supreme Court could swiftly vanish.

Recall: Democratic Senates turned down two Nixon nominees and Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, forcing both presidents to name justices who evolved into moderates and liberals on the high court.

ORDER IT NOW

But it is in the realm of foreign policy where the real perils seem to lie. President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

Trump’s choice then? Accept defeat and humiliation for our “ally” — or escalate and widen the conflict with Russia.

Putin’s interest in the Donbass, a part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union for centuries, is obvious.

What, exactly, is ours — to justify a showdown with Moscow?

In this city there is also a powerful propaganda push to have this country tear up the nuclear deal John Kerry negotiated with Iran, and confront the Iranians in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

But how much backing would Trump have for another U.S. war in that blood-soaked region, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Who would stand with us, and for how long?

When Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and pledged to move our embassy there, we had to veto a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning us. Then the General Assembly denounced the U.S. in a resolution supported by all our key NATO allies, Russia and China, and every Arab and Muslim nation.

A day later, Trump complained on Twitter that we have “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East.”

What then would justify a new $1 or $2 trillion war with the largest nation on the Persian Gulf, which could send oil to $200 a barrel and sink the global economy?

Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

The Korean War finished Truman. Vietnam finished LBJ. Reagan said putting Marines into Lebanon was his worst mistake. Iraq cost Bush II both houses of Congress and his party the presidency in 2008.

Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2017 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, Iran, Russia 
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  1. peterAUS says:

    With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border.

    Ah, good, it wasn’t all that “Russia did it and USA lost” thing. Nice for a change here.

    Trump and those he has put into positions of power have exceeded expectations.

    Well….OK……

    President Trump has been persuaded by his national security team to send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, for use against the tanks and armor of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

    Ahu.

    Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

    Interesting.

    Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.

    Not if he wins.
    And he CAN win either in Iran (easier) or North Korea (harder because of a possible nuclear escalation).

    Of course, it all boils down to The Objective.

    I’ve written elsewhere about NK option.

    In “Iran option” it’s even easier:
    “Degrade the Iranian capability to develop a nuclear weapon” …with a good spin of course, like “in order to bring Iran to the negotiating table…peace in ME…coexistence of different religions/cultures….future of peoples there….happiness of humanity…” and usual nonsense.
    The only challenge: Iran blocks Hormuz.

    The Machiavellian option: USA does a bit of bombing, Iran keeps a low profile. Nothing of substance actually happens and Trump has his victory.

  2. Doesn’t the answer to the question of what a war would do to the Trump presidency depend on with whom the war is fought?

    If it’s with Russia it will not just bring the Trump presidency to a premature end but the country and the planet as well.

  3. MEexpert says:

    With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border.

    The US-led coalition did not expel ISIS either from Mosul or from Raqqa. Not not until Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani’s fatwa the direction of war against ISIS changed. It were those volunteers that turned the tide in Mosul and Ramadi. US had been bombing ISIS position without any success because they weren’t trying.

    Similarly, in Syria it was the coalition of Russia-Syria-Iran-Hezbollah that routed ISIS. Especially, in Syria, US-led coalition was more interested in protecting those “good” rebels than defeating ISIS. It is one thing to be pro Trump but it is quite different to give undesreved credit to him where he did nothing positive, unless you think sending 59 missiles soaring into Syria a big success. Pat Buchanan seems to be going gaga over Trump.

    The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

    The caliphate is not dead. It survives in different parts of the Middle East under the safe Israeli-US-Saudi Arabian umbrella. Some members of ISIS have been sent to harras China, at the Russian border, and in Afghanistan as the latest bomb attack proves. I won’t even be surprised if the caliph is resting in an Israeli luxury hotel in Tel Aviv. With the most sophisticated and advanced tracking technology available to the US forces the US should have been able to locate Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi unless he was already under protection by Israel.

    But how much backing would Trump have for another U.S. war in that blood-soaked region, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

    This is the only chance Trump has to survive impeachment and save his presidency. War with Iran will give him backing of Israel and AIPAC and hence that of the compliant congress. The strategy is to keep Russia busy in Ukraine while Israel-US-Saudi Arabia led coalition attacks Iran.

    What then would justify a new $1 or $2 trillion war with the largest nation on the Persian Gulf, which could send oil to $200 a barrel and sink the global economy?

    When the global economy tanks it is the middle class that gets hurt. The fatcats will make their money no matter what the oil prices are.

    Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?

    Is it really that hard to answer this question? All these wars have been waged for the benefit of only one country. Hint. It is not the United States.

    Should Trump become a war president, he’ll likely become a one-term president.

    Highly unlikely. Clinton gave us Kosovo and Eastern Europe. Time served ; two terms. George W. Bush gave us Afghanistan and Iraq. Two terms. Barack Obama gave us Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, two terms. Trump will continue in the tradition of Obama by escalating in Afghanistan and he is clamoring for a fight in Pakistan. The war in Iraq is by no means over and neither is the war in Syria. These two wars will continue for the benefit of Israel. Now he wants to add two of his own wars or should I say three. His only chance of survival is starting a new war. He is also keeping the North Korea issue alive to keep China guessing.

    The first two will draw Iran and Hezbollah. To keep them isolated and to prevent Russia from helping them Trump is sending arms to Uklraine, i.e war number three. With Russia tied up in Ukraine Trump hopes to end Iran and Hezbollah for the benfit of Israel but he will have a big surprise coming.

    God help the United States.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  4. Cui bono is the right question to ask, Mr. Buchanan. Neither possible wars in Ukraine or Iran is in the interest of the US. Why saving a mafia state in Kiev, which the CIA led Coup created in the first place, or attack the Islamic Republic of Iran, which haven’t threatened anybody for centuries. The Zionist regime in Israel has been breaching since the mid-1990s that Iran is a “threat” to Israel’s security. The opposite is true: Not Iran but Israel is the real threat to the whole Middle East. They want to obtain hegemony from Iran to Marocco. Which the late Israel Shahak has outlined in his book “Open Secrets,” which Pluto Press published in 1997. http://www.watzal.com/Shahak_Roy.pdf

    Trump’s Jerusalem decision was his most significant foreign policy blunder so far. His administration has broken with a long time tradition in international law that occupation of territory by force is illegal and all subsequent measures are null and void. The US under Trump ranged on the same level as the Israeli occupier. To deny the certification of the Iran deal demonstrates to the international community that the US is an unreliable and untrustworthy partner. It’s now on vibe with a rogue state.

    It’s interesting to see how two rogue states are joining forces against the rest of the world. To make things worse. The beacon of democracy blackmails the international community. The democratic rhetoric of the US political class is worth nothing.

  5. “With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq”

    Pat really should refrain from huffing glue before writing his articles. It is pointless to list Trump’s “Triumphs” when his failures and betrayals are having a much larger effect on the US and the rest of the world.

    His appointment of Nikki Haley and his subsequent ignorance of what she does daily at the UN cancels everything else he has done this past year, and Haley is only one of his failures. Trump hasn’t a single ally in his cabinet and has surrounded himself with neocon warmongers and Wall Street wolves. Having Jared Kushner running around starting house fires is another huge failure/betrayal of Trump’s.

    Still, Pat will continue to praise his faults and downplay his betrayals simply because Trump is a shake-and-bake republican. Of course, this is all just Trumpian 3D chess and I can’t see the big picture, right?

  6. “With the U.S. military given a freer hand by Trump, a U.S.-led coalition helped expel ISIS from its twin capitals of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, driving it back into a desert enclave on the Iraq-Syria border. The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.”

    Same way the US won WW2 … no significant help from anybody else, and with one hand tied behind its exceptional back. /sarc.

    Wake up, Pat. The caliphate was only expanding when the coalition fighting it was led solely by the US, for whatever reason, be it incompetence or intent.

  7. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “What, exactly, is [our interest] — to justify a showdown with Moscow?”

    “Cui bono? For whose benefit all these wars?”

    That Mr. Buchanan at this point in his life as a pundit lacks the insight or courage to answer his own questions — and his dependable perspective that Russia is an adversary of “our” Empire — explains why he is still afforded a place at the right edge of the 3×5 card of Establishment discourse.

  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Peace, trade, development, improvement of the infrastructure and finally freedom from the PC madness that’s rum amok is what people voted for and what we should get. Foreign wars are a trap that Trump should resist getting sucked into. There’s no reason to ruin whatever gains we could make by listening to the various lobbies for one conflict or another.

  9. Clancey says:

    Dear Pat,

    Before you go making claims about how the USA ‘expelled’ ISIS from Raqqa, you should check out this BBC story.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/raqqas_dirty_secret

    This story has been around for some time now. A SDF (Kurdish) spokesman has defected to Turkey and tells a similar tale. And the Russian military Chief of Staff has been making similar charges. But I thought I’d link to the BBC telling of this story as to Americans that seems to be a more trustworthy source.

    Also note that former Afghanistan President Karsai has been making similar claims that the US helps move and ferry ISIS fighters around in that country. And that after the fall of Mosul, many ISIS fighters suddenly appeared in Syria and launched a major attack, and that according to western corporate news the Americans with all their satelites and drones had no idea that thousand of soldiers were moving across an open desert.

    It might be semantically accurate to say that the US drove ISIS out of Raqqa, but only if by the use of that verb you mean that the US helped drive the trucks that transported thousands of ISIS fighters, arms, ammunition and explosives out of Raqqa. The US litterally drove them out. I suppose the US asks first if everyone had their seat belts fastened before getting under way.

    At some point, I’m waiting for the American people to start to understand that under Obama and Trump that the USA has been helping both ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and other places. Surely that’s a bigger scandal than some unconfirmed report from un-named sources that Trump swears in Russian when he’s on the toilet or other similar such ‘news’ that dominates CNN.

    • Agree: utu
  10. KenH says:

    It’s very frustrating that Buchanan believes that in addition to claims that “Russia hacked”, that it was the U.S. who defeated ISIS when it was we who were preventing Syria, Iran and Russia accomplishing that task sooner. It’s transparently false and self serving for the Trump administration to make that claim.

    When Trump is reading foreign policy speeches off the teleprompter written by (((them))) it seems to me that he barely comprehends what he’s even saying. He boasted about knowing more than the generals during the campaign but has has let them run amok as president and seemingly delegated all foreign policy matters to a (((cast of characters))) with the same worldview and same (((loyalties))) as those who got us embroiled in forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan and soon more areas of the globe. This is not America First.

    Sure, Trump has proven to be tough and resilient amid the constant attacks and the economy has improved somewhat, but it’s the immigration stupid. If Trump and the Congress keep slow walking the wall and the drastic reforms that this nation needs then they will lose the Senate in 2018 and possibly the House in 2020 and Trump will be forced to go back to reality TV.

  11. 22pp22 says:

    Sorry, Putin defeated ISIS despite the best effort of the Es to thwart him.

  12. Talha says:

    The caliphate is dead, and the caliph nowhere to be found.

    What was never alive cannot die. This “caliphate” was an idiotic criminal enterprise rejected by the vast majority of the world’s Muslims – ignorant dweebs and bloodthirsty extremists answered its call. Just because some guy gets up and calls himself “caliph” or “Queen of England” or “Pope” doesn’t make him so.

    Solid advice by Mr. Buchanan; stay out of any more wars in the ME – we are just now starting to recover from the fallout from the last ones.

    Peace.

  13. War didn’t destroy Bush. It was the failure of the war as sold to the US public. It was no cakewalk and no WMD was found.

    So, Trump will not be hurt by war if it goes right. A war with Iran will be a disaster . A war with NK might work IF North Korea is unable to use nukes. Indeed, even Iraq War might have worked if the nation were homogeneous. It was the Sunni-Shia-Kurd divide that made Iraq so ungovernable. In contrast, decapitating the regime in Pyongyang may do the trick.

    That said, Trump should try to avoid war since he ran on antiwar platform. And there are sane diplomatic ways to deal with the problem. Also, these problems would not exist if the globalist elites hadn’t messed up the world so badly. US blaming Iran for terrorism is laughable since the likes of Osama were created by CIA and US allies. And North Korea raced to get nukes because of US bad behavior in MENA.

  14. @22pp22

    Sorry, Putin defeated ISIS despite the best effort of the Es to thwart him.

    Russia played an essential role, but it’s no accident that successes came after Trump was elected. If the US wanted to secretly support Jihadis in Syria as happened under Obama-Hillary regime, Syria would still be up in flames.

    Trump gave the go-ahead to Putin to finish off the terrorist. And US bombings in Iraq played a key role in crushing ISIS.

    • Replies: @22pp22
  15. peterAUS says:
    @MEexpert

    Mostly agree.

    Wouldn’t put all the benefit/blame on Israel, but let’s skip “Joos are in fault for everything” here.
    A tiny minority here does believe that American/Western elites have a big deal of benefit/responsibility too but, apparently, blaming Jews only is what’s the “program” here.

    And, sending arms to Ukraine isn’t that important re conflict in Iran I think.

    • Troll: Zumbuddi
  16. KenH says:

    when it was we who were preventing Syria, Iran and Russia accomplishing that task sooner.

    Correction: When it was we, Saudia Arabia, wealthy Sunnis in gulf states and for a time, Turkey who morally, materially and financially supported ISIS and prevented their demise much sooner.

  17. @22pp22

    Yes, Putin defeated ISIS, and notice how he doesn’t brag about it. Like Ronald Reagan, he doesn’t care who gets the credit for something good that’s been done. Trump, on the other hand, is quick to claim credit for the good things that get done, and places blame on others when things turn out badly.

  18. Virgile says:

    Trump is more concerned about money than about lives. A war would be too costly if the US is serious about involving US soldiers.
    I believe Trump will never launch a war similar to Vietnam or Iraq, it will be unpopular too. He would rather use other countries to do the dirty job of destabilization. If hi allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey have failed in Syria, it is because Bashar al Assad is a war genius, there aren’t too many like him in other countries.

    Anyway war is not part of Trump’s election promises. So he would stay away as much as possible if he wants to be re elected

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @peterAUS

    Indeed. Nothing succeeds like success. Bill Clinton won his little war in the Balkans and it did him some good in the polls. Ditto for Reagan in Grenada and Panama.

    Regarding Hormuz, Trump’s cabinet is not given to froofiness. I guess any tampering with Hormuz or Seoul/Tokyo would end in a swift Endlösung for the perpetrator, Polaris-style.

    • Replies: @anon
  20. peterAUS says:

    Agree.

    As for this:

    Regarding Hormuz, Trump’s cabinet is not given to froofiness. I guess any tampering with Hormuz or Seoul/Tokyo would end in a swift Endlösung for the perpetrator, Polaris-style.

    I do believe that would apply to NK.
    For Iran I guess it wouldn’t go that far. But I am sure that “just” conventional would work just fine.

    The devil is, as always, in details, though.
    There could be one or two of tricky ones, in either scenario.

    Interesting times.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  21. MEexpert says:
    @peterAUS

    I guess any tampering with Hormuz or Seoul/Tokyo would end in a swift Endlösung for the perpetrator, Polaris-style.

    I guess people can always dream. As if the other side is not going to weigh all the alternatives before taking any action. They will just let Israel/US/Saudi Arabia dictate all the outcomes.

  22. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Does the concept of international law ever interrupt your wet dreams, fellas?

    What has Iran done to USA that amounts to a casus belli?

    PeterAus wants to hold Joos blameless, but why would USA have any interest in harming Iran but for Jooie instigations? Please don’t play the oil card — what does the Iran Nuclear Deal have to do with oil?

    Fact is, it would be far more advantageous for Trump to achieve a detente with Iran than to attack Iran.

  23. Quote:

    Should Petro Poroshenko’s Kiev regime reignite the war in his breakaway provinces bordering Russia, Vladimir Putin is less likely to let him crush the rebels than to intervene with superior forces and rout the Ukrainian army.

    Putin will go straight for Kiev.

    You can take it to the bank.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  24. nickels says:

    If Trump goes to war I will vote in the biggest communist lesbian the democrats can offer just to watch this country tear itself apart.
    This war thing has to end, even if it means America ends first.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @NoseytheDuke
  25. bluedog says:
    @nickels

    Lets face it Trump is no different than Clinton the Bush’s or Obama,same players same faces just a different day as the right wing suck up the twit and tweeters from the oval office,one only needs to look at his first year in office to conclude that the next three will be little different as they go from war to war, and the working American people will be much poorer because of it….

  26. well,

    if you are going to fight, even if you don’t need to, you had better fight to win.

  27. @peterAUS

    Good to see our little “Australian” troll is back. Wanting to pick a fight were someone else’s sons and fathers die. A fight that has nothing to do with defending the interests of the American people, but does help an insignificant nation on the other side of the world.

    If you think Iran or North Korea need to be fought, petition your own government. Leave my nation out of your militaristic fever dreams.

  28. 22pp22 says:
    @Jung-Freud

    Until Trump, the Americans were fighting ISIS in Iraq and effectively allied to them in Syria.

    Trump also ordered a missile attack on the SAA and the US Airforce has been quite active in the bombing them.

    They are the only force capable of beating ISIS on the ground.

    The US is not a truly independent country. It has a tributary relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is not advancing its own foreign policy interests, it is advancing theirs

    Trump didn’t actually kiss Netanyahu’s a-hole, at least not on camera, so he moved the embassy instead.

    Maybe the US should stop pretending and move its own capital to Jerusalem.

  29. KenH says:

    Suddenly anti-Rouhani protests are springing up in Tehren. Looks like another USrael sponsored color revolution is underway and if that fails we may have to create a phony pretext to military attack and weaken Iran so Israel can feel safe and snug.

    In fact, Trump just tweeted that “the world is watching” Iran in how they treat the protesters so if they happen to rough some up we may need to go to war for human rights since expending billions of American dollars and lives in protecting human rights (i.e., kicking the shit out of a nation Israel doesn’t like) is America First and MAGA.

    You know the drill by now.

    • Agree: MEexpert, jacques sheete
    • Replies: @MEexpert
  30. MEexpert says:
    @KenH

    Looks like another USrael sponsored color revolution is underway and if that fails we may have to create a phony pretext to military attack and weaken Iran so Israel can feel safe and snug.

    You nailed it. With the Iran deal ready to be cancelled next month, the color revolution is back on again.

    Who said “Responsiblity to Protect” was dead?

  31. @nickels

    I think that the best way for the American people to achieve a soft landing and turn things around would be to sabotage their own nation to the point that nothing works, little gets done or produced. It would result in great suffering for many but that is inevitable anyway. The criminal cabal that has taken over is sure to destroy Zamerica anyway when it suits them, so better to do it sooner and then root out the cancerous traitors before starting to rebuild.

  32. @Ilyana_Rozumova

    “Putin will go straight for Kiev.” If by that you mean that Russian military forces will attack the Ukraine then I would disagree. Mr Putin would like to avoid that at all costs: except perhaps the complete & utter defeat of the “Republics”.
    However, the Republics have demonstrated that given the (Russian supplied) resources, military or otherwise, & perhaps a few more Russian “volunteers” they can & will convincingly defeat Ukrainian aggression.

  33. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @peterAUS

    In August 1914 the Kaiser told the German soldiers they would be back before the leaves had fallen from the trees. Assumptions are very dangerous things.

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