Mind your business.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Trump Administration Officials: He's About To Announce A Withdrawal from Afghanistan "Soon"

By Jake Tapper

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Officials throughout the Trump administration are bracing themselves for the President to make an announcement about the US presence in Afghanistan, similar to his declaration Wednesday that the US will withdraw the military from Syria, informed administration sources tell CNN.

The sources cautioned that President has not yet made a final decision, but officials are concerned and convinced that he might do so, and soon.

The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, most of which are present as part of a larger NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.

Any withdrawal would be complicated by the fact that the United States is part of NATO's Resolute Support mission.

Trump has long been critical of the US presence in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

He has questioned US investment in the country, asking in 2011, "When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first."

Read more at CNN.

UPDATE: Jim Mattis, Defense Secretary, Resigns in Rebuke of Trump’s Worldview

By: Helene Cooper
The New York Times

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whose experience and stability were widely seen as a balance to an unpredictable president, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria.

Mr. Trump announced Mr. Mattis’s resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said the retired four-star Marine general turned Pentagon chief will leave at the end of February.

Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result.

Hours later, the Pentagon released Mr. Mattis’s resignation letter, in which he implicitly criticized his commander in chief. Mr. Mattis said in the letter that he believes that the president deserves a defense secretary who is more in tune with his worldview.

“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships,” Mr. Mattis wrote.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” he wrote.

Read more at The New York Times.

(THL) I just love the not-so-subtle editorializing in this Mattis piece. Keep warmongering New York Times.

I remember your paper had to apologize in 2004 for your role in beating the war drum to fan the flames of an armed conflict that got thousands of people killed by spreading fake news about Hussein's alleged weapons programs, and acknowledging that you wish you "had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims (related to Iraqi weapons programs) as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge."

After Donald Trump's Syria announcement yesterday, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel for Afghanistan, but little did I know we'd hear about a forthcoming Afghanistan announcement the very next day! Drawing the Soviets into a protracted war in this exact country was literally our foreign policy in the 1980s.

How could we, only two decades later, give Al Qaeda exactly what it wanted? Let them bait us into doing the very thing we very wittingly and intentionally baited the Russians into doing to wreck their economy and bring about their collapse?

After it worked too!?

Rand Paul Will Be Vindicated If Donald Trump Makes This Announcement About Afghanistan

When Rand Paul switched his vote last minute to support the confirmation of Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State earlier this year after a month of aggressive opposition, he offered as his justification, a private phone call in which Donald Trump urged Paul's support for Pompeo, and promised him that he would be "getting the hell out of" Afghanistan.

This led to the most awkward handshake caught on camera that I have ever seen in my entire life:

At that time I criticized Rand Paul for backing down and trusting Trump, writing at the Independent Voter Network:

"Those who believe in the American Founding Fathers’ understanding of government and foreign policy can only hope that Donald Trump will actually keep the insinuations he made in private to Rand Paul on the phone after breaking the promises he made in public to all of America in prepared remarks on a campaign stage."

But it is beginning to appear like I might owe Rand Paul an apology. The gentleman from Kentucky seems to know what he's doing. Maybe I should have never doubted him.

Though I will say in my defense that distrusting politicians, and distrusting presidents especially, has served me well so far.

The Military Industrial Complex in Washington D.C. and Its Friends In The Press Are Freaking Out!

In the wake of yesterday's announcement that the White House considers the job done in Syria and will be withdrawing the presence of 2,000 troops there, who are currently occupying a third of the country (a war that many Americans were likely not even aware our government was waging), there has been a flurry of war propaganda from the usual neoconservative suspects, the war-adoring mainstream press who pass along the Washington regime's propaganda in exchange for access and prestige, and of course a sickening pile-on by partisan Democrats who wake up every morning ready to be against whatever Donald Trump does in advance of knowing what it is–– people with no mind of their own, who would rather America and Russia nuke each other to hell than admit Hillary Clinton was an even worse option than Donald Trump. People with donkey lapel pins for brains.

But don't let all these foreign policy geniuses convince you that there is some clear and compelling rationale for a continued U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

Earlier this month leaked audio revealed that General McChrystal doesn't even know what we're doing in Afghanistan, and appallingly, he told Mike Pompeo to "muddle along" in the opium fields of the perpetually war torn region:

General McChrystal Told Pompeo To 'Muddle Along' In Afghanistan, Leaked Audio Reveals

By: Paul Szoldra
Task and Purpose

Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he did not know what to do in Afghanistan but offered his “best suggestion” was for a small number of troops to remain and “muddle along” in the country, the retired four-star Army general told a small group last month during his book tour.

Read more at Task and Purpose.

And would you just look at all this blood money running from peace this week?

I know it's been a rough week for the entire stock market...

But it was a lot rougher for these three war profiteers:

^This is what a military industrial complex looks like.

But guess what?

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