Mind your business.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Mitt Romney's Donald Trump Op Ed Echoes The Mainstream Media's Fake News Propaganda for More War in The Middle East

By: Wes Messamore
The Humble Libertarian


Mitt Romney's Donald Trump Op Ed: The POTUS Should Be More Polished And Invade More Countries

Mitt Romney's op ed criticizing Donald Trump was just Mitt flashing gang signals to the New World Order establishment types before taking his seat in the U.S. Senate.

It also reads like a surreal campaign ad that says:

"When I'm President, I will not say rude things that make people uncomfortable, and I will invade way more third world countries."

Mitt Romney opens his op ed with:

"The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a 'sucker' in world affairs all defined his presidency down."

Well hold on there just a moment.

There are a whole lot of false assumptions and misrepresentations packed into that one little first paragraph.


In December, the Trump presidency did not make a drastic departure from what he's been saying and working toward all along from the campaign trail through his first years in office.

Donald Trump's announcement that he will be concluding the war in Syria was a campaign promise kept.

(You've got options)

Can you imagine Trump looking at this headline?

"And here I thought people didn't like it when politicians don't keep their promises. Have people ever complained about any other politician–– complained that they keep their campaign promises?"


By characterizing Donald Trump's Syria announcement (and the reportedly forthcoming Afghanistan announcement) as a sudden change of course for the Trump Administration––

Mitt Romney is echoing the narrative in a fake news story that's being circulated by the mainstream media, and signaling to the military industrial complex that he is reading their propaganda in the mainstream media, and that he is on their side.

It's a fake news story that paints a totally false picture of Donald Trump jumping out of bed one morning and deciding on a whim to drastically and suddenly change U.S. military policy.

And it's being spread on purpose by major, reputable media companies, as propaganda for more armed conflict.

There are different versions of the story.

In one article with a blatant inaccuracy for a headline––

The Associated Press falsely claims in The Washington Post that:

"President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State group, according to U.S. and Turkish officials."

These are blatant falsehoods that the AP and Washington Post, and other mainstream news companies are spreading.

It might be true that Donald Trump made the decision himself, and that he told the President of Turkey before he told his top staff, which would be hilarious, but this decision was not made hastily, nor without an ongoing and elaborate back and forth between Donald Trump and the Deep State.


Trump promised during the campaign that he would withdraw from Syria. And as the BBC notes in a Dec 2018 article:

"Mr Trump has long called for the US to leave the Middle East. On the campaign trail, he said the region was a 'total and complete mess' and wished the government had spent the trillions of dollars in the US instead.

His talk of an end to US military deployments overseas predates his presidential run. In 2013, he tweeted: 'Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.' That same year, he said the US should 'stay the hell out' of the Syrian war."

So Donald Trump supported a conclusion to the U.S. military's direct involvement in the Middle East's armed conflicts even before he ran for president in 2016. Then he campaigned on it.

Donald Trump said in his "America First" Foreign Policy Speech:

"Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy. With President Obama and Secretary Clinton we’ve had the exact opposite — a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy, one that has blazed the path of destruction in its wake."


"We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy."


"We’re getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world. Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water’s edge. We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties — Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies."

And then after he was elected president, Donald Trump set to work to put his strategic foreign policy vision into practice despite an array of fierce opposition to change, from Washington establishmentarians who have tried to coax and browbeat Donald Trump into accepting the status quo he was sent to Washington by voters to reform, just as they have many past presidents.


Investigative journalist and policy analyst Gareth Porter details this process at The American Conservative, writing on Dec. 28th:

"The mainstream media has attacked President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria as impulsive, blindsiding his own national security team. But detailed, published accounts of the policy process over the course of the year tell a very different story. They show that senior national security officials and self-interested institutions have been playing a complicated political game for months aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite presence on the ground in Syria.

The entire episode thus represents a new variant of a familiar pattern dating back to Vietnam in which national security advisors put pressure on reluctant presidents to go along with existing or proposed military deployments in a war zone. The difference here is that Trump, by publicly choosing a different policy, has blown up their transparent schemes and offered the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state.

The relationship between Trump and his national security team has been tense since the beginning of his administration. By mid-summer 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford had become so alarmed at Trump’s negative responses to their briefings justifying global U.S. military deployments that they decided to do a formal briefing in 'the tank,' used by the Joint Chiefs for meetings at the Pentagon."

Good Lord. When the President of the United States pisses off the military's top brass, they take him to a place called "the tank" and sit him down for a struggle session? That sounds terrifying.

What do they do?

Sit him down and play him a recording of the JFK assassination–– from a different angle?

Back in the 1980s when Alex Jones was a standup comedian named Bill Hicks, he called it:

Here's what the Associated Press said about the Pentagon briefing in "the tank" in September 2017:

"On a sweltering Washington summer day, President Donald Trump’s motorcade pulled up to the Pentagon for a meeting largely billed as a briefing on the Afghanistan conflict and the fight against the Islamic State group.

There, in the windowless meeting room known as 'The Tank', Trump was to be briefed on the state of America’s longest-running war as he and his top aides plotted ways ahead. But, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the meeting, it was, in reality, about much more.

Trump’s national security team had become alarmed by the president’s frequent questioning about the value of a robust American presence around the world. When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson organized the July 20 session to lay out the case for maintaining far-flung outposts — and to present it, using charts and maps, in a way the businessman-turned-politician would appreciate."

So that was just a few months into Trump's presidency, after a campaign, and pre-campaign history of clearly laying out a foreign policy that puts America first by using the military for self defense only; not as part of an endless grant of global welfare through costly overseas military occupations and foreign nation building; and not as muscle (and blood) for essentially foreign interests in their endless rivalries and wars over territory and religion; and not as a cash cow for the narrow special interests of the military industrial complex over providing for the common defense and promoting the general welfare of the American people.


Everyone in the media dutifully spinning this false narrative that Donald Trump's move in Syria was sudden, jolting, and unexpected are attempting to frame both a conclusion to U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, and Donald Trump as the proximate cause of it–– as unpredictable and unstable, and therefore potentially disastrous.

That's why in his op ed, Mitt Romney calls this fabled sudden change in the Trump Administration a "descent," but without explaining why. So he's glossed over a very serious and complicated matter with a completely unsubstantiated opinion about a heavily misrepresented policy reform.

I know it's an op ed, but that's not just a space for stating opinions. It usually works best to use that space to defend your opinions.

Or at least explain them.

US Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit fire an M777 howitzer during a fire mission in northern Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, March 24, 2017. During the operation Marines in Syria fired more rounds than any artillery battalion since Vietnam

Exactly what is so wrong with winning a war swiftly and decisively and then returning the troops to their own shores?

I don't know how they feel about it in Utah, but I don't think I nor the U.S. government owes the Kurdish people anything.

I know they have pinned much of their high hopes–– for an autonomous Kurdish state carved out from the borders of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq–– on the U.S. military interventions in the region working to their favor, but that does not mean America owes them its blood and treasure to pay for their dream of nationhood.

It is exactly this mentality Romney evinces that Donald Trump is thinking about when he utters the supposedly "thoughtless" claim that America has long been a sucker in world affairs.

Stop being a sucker for Kurdistan, Romney.

Be a sucker for America.


Next Romney says:

"It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office."

Well you're the one who's calling Trump's foreign policy achievements in December a "descent" without explaining why.

Unless you offer a critical analysis with that characterization, you're just name calling as well.

As a libertarian looking at all this, I had reason to hope that Donald Trump would be a little more libertarian than Hillary Clinton, but I also had reason to doubt it (it's usually good policy not to trust anything a viable candidate running for president says).

When Donald Trump started loading up his administration with people from Wall Street, and people like Jeff Sessions, and Nikki Haley, and John Bolton–– it dashed any hopes I had that the Trump Administration might pursue even a slight, watered-down, milquetoast libertarian direction in the War on Drugs and U.S. foreign policy, or at least that he wouldn't accelerate the damage as fast as Hillary Clinton would have.

To me it seemed like Ronald Reagan all over again. All this talk on the campaign trail about liberty and limited government, but most of his top brass in the White House were establishmentarian, big government Republicans. There was a contingent of limited government reformers, true believers–– but this faction became increasingly insular and irrelevant within the Reagan administration rather early on.

The Trump phenomenon seemed to echo this pattern to a tee, and all my doubts were confirmed–– until it became apparent that Trump was becoming increasingly more frustrated with the neocons and swamp creatures in his administration, as they were growing increasingly more frustrated with him–– and that he was listening intently and nodding along in agreement with the foreign policy views of Senator Rand Paul.


Romney continues the op ed:

"To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow 'our better angels.' A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring."

But as he later admitted on CNN: "Romney admitted on CNN that the Syria withdrawal/Mattis resignation was the 'precipitating event' for his heroic op-ed. He and other likeminded GOP elites may dress up their complaints about Trump as 'character'-related, but the underlying issue has always been the foreign policy."


Romney piles on:

"The world is also watching. America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would 'do the right thing in world affairs.' One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent."

I don't know who Romney thinks he's talking to (yes I do, the media and political establishment whose approval he seeks), but the fact that people in Britain, Germany, France, and Canada like this president less just makes me like him more.

This comes at a very unfortunate time. Several allies in Europe are experiencing political upheaval. Several former Soviet satellite states are rethinking their commitment to democracy. Some Asian nations, such as the Philippines, lean increasingly toward China, which advances to rival our economy and our military. The alternative to U.S. world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal.

The world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world — and an America — with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace.

This line of argumentation is so devoid of historical accuracy that it's basically a big fat lie. What Romney euphemistically refers to as "American leadership" is a Washington foreign policy of relentless support for authoritarian regimes (with billions of dollars taken from the American people's earnings to give to these foreign despots) and "an America — with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace." Here's a brief highlight reel of suckerdom:


And now your moment of Zen:

Obama's Got 99 Problems, But Mitt Ain't One

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