6/22/17

Another Primrose Path


Trump’s silent surge in the Middle East — and the slippery slope to war

We've been down this primrose path before. Congress and We the People went along with the program, and our presidents gave us Vietnam. Our involvement there was based on lies and deceit, most of it coming out of the Oval Office.

Congress needs to do its collective job and challenge what Ol' Heel Spurs is pulling in the Middle East. Right now he pretty much has a blank check, and he's letting the generals ramp it up over there with no discernible oversight. This is a lot like what happened with Johnson and the 'blank check' of the Tonkin Resolution. It took years for Congress to wake up and eventually pull the fiscal plug.

"Congress should renew the debate on a new authorization for the use of military force to replace the one passed to counter al-Qaeda and its associated forces more than 15 years ago. Across the broader Middle East, the United States has about 80,000 troops deployed — far fewer than the more than 300,000 serving in 2008. Today the overall numbers are not as important as where the troops are located, what they are doing — and, most critically, how the use of military force fits into a broader strategy. The Trump team needs to explain this strategy, and Congress needs to authorize it and set appropriate limits."

What is the Trumpian strategy? Is there one? Not even Mattis has come up with anything resembling a coherent policy or strategy for the Middle East. He's talking about 'annihilating' ISIS, but I'm taking that as more of that generalissimo 'shock and awe' crap, and we all know how well that worked out. What about the State Department? Tillerson has not come up with anything ... unless it's all part of Ol' Heel Spurs' "SecretPlan™."

"As a candidate, Trump announced he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS, even as he was suggesting that the US needed to pull back from acting as a world policeman and enforcer of stability. Instead of unveiling that secret plan after he was elected, Trump signed an executive order on January 28 directing his national security team to come up with a strategy to defeat the group."

So far ... nothing. Other than Mattis' 'annihilating' ISIS, which is great stuff for getting the flag-waving super-patriot juices flowing, but not much else.

And then we have Duffelblog, where satire strikes at the heart of the matter:

Army unveils 700-part op-order process for fighting new wars Americans won’t care about

"According to Dial, the Army was looking at ways to remove all moral culpability of sending America’s sons and daughters to their deaths under dubious circumstances since the Vietnam War. But those efforts stalled after lop-sided victories of zero importance in Grenada, Panama, and Operation Desert Storm.

“With the situation in the Middle East as hopeless as ever and only 30 percent of legislators still in Congress who decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, we knew it was only a matter of time before committing US forces to another historically volatile and culturally opposite area of the planet with no legitimate plan for success,” said Dial."


I think Duffelblog is wrong, however, with that Americans not caring. These wars and adventures are great for generating really great tear-jerker country western songs, and for speech-sourcing on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Can't have patriotic moments without a little blood in the bucket.