“A Commentary on the words that spewed from Trump’s mouth at his news conference during a cabinet meeting on January 2, 2019,” or, “A Ph.D. who has been teaching at a public Ivy since 1984 is forced to spend his time chasing the rabid ferrets running around in the head of a decrepit reality t.v. star whom my compatriots in their wisdom made president.”
- “I want people to treat us fairly and they’re not. And it’s not — there’s no angles. There’s no angles. There’s nothing — you know, when a country sends us 200 soldiers to Iraq or sends us a hundred soldiers from a big country to Syria or to Afghanistan and then they tell me a hundred times, oh, we sent you soldiers, we sent you soldiers. And that’s 1/100th of the money they take advantage of, they’re just doing it to make me happy. I’ve heard past Presidents say they’ve involved in the Afghanistan war because they sent us a hundred soldiers. Yet it’s costing us billions of billions of dollars. I get along with India and the prime minister and he’s constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan. You know what that is? That’s like five hours of what we spend. And he tells it is and he’s very smart and we’re supposed to say oh, thank you for the library. I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan but one of those things.”
NATO at the height of its involvement in Afghanistan had 130,000 troops there. Since NATO includes the United States it isn’t easy to specify how many of these were additional to US forces, but let’s say 50,000. (Britain alone had 10,000 there at one point, and France 4,000.). That is more than 200. When in the zeroes the US had 400 bases in Afghanistan, the rest of NATO had 300.
Remember, the only reason that NATO was in Afghanistan at all was to respond to the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks on the United States. It invoked article 5, which says that an attack on one is an attack on all. Nobody in NATO thinks Trump would similarly come to their rescue.
456 Britons were killed fighting in Afghanistan for the sake of the US. 155 Canadians were killed fighting in Afghanistan, for the US. 88 French troops died fighting in Afghanistan, for the US. 53 German troops were killed fighting in Afghanistan, for the US.
- ” I think India should be involved in Afghanistan.”
Did you ask Pakistan how they would respond to this? Are you *trying* to start another war?
Personal checks should be made out to Juan Cole and sent to me at:
P. O. Box 4218,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2548
(Remember, make the checks out to “Juan Cole” or they can’t be cashed)
- “I gave our generals all the money they wanted. They didn’t do such a great job in Afghanistan. They’ve been fighting in Afghanistan for 19 years. General Mattis thanked me profusely for getting him several hundred billion and thanked me more the following year when I got him $716 billion. He couldn’t believe it because our military was depleted. Now we’re rebuilding our military. Pat was very responsible for a lot of the orders for the new F-35 fighter jets and F-18s including ships and missiles and everything. But General Mattis was so thrilled.”
Obama authorized $726 billion for the Pentagon in 2011, and all the military budgets 2007-2012 were bigger than yours in real dollars adjusted for inflation. Military spending and the size of the military was modestly reduced after 2012 because the wars wound down. You don’t need as much money for the military if you aren’t fighting a big war. The Founding Fathers did not even want a standing army.
- “But what’s he done for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good. Not too good. I’m not happy with what he’s done in Afghanistan and I shouldn’t be happy. But he was very thankful when I got him $700 billion and the following year $716 billion. So, I wish him well. I hope he does well. But as you know, President Obama fired him and essentially so did i. I want results.”
You did not fire Mattis. He resigned in protest at having to work for a ferret-brained president in December. Obama did remove Mattis as head of CENTCOM, because, it is said, Mattis opposed the rapprochement with Iran, which is why you later hired him. When you say that Obama fired someone, you should also remember the man you made your National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who had to resign for lying to the FBI and may or may not avoid jail time in light of his having subsequently rolled over on you, Donald. Great judge of character there.
As for Afghanistan, I can’t argue with you, it hasn’t been going well during the past 2 years, under your presidency. Check in the desk in the Oval Office and you might be able to find Harry Truman’s old sign that says, “The buck stops here.”
- “TRUMP: We’re going to do something that’s right. We are talking to the taliban, we’re talking to a lot of different people but here’s the thing because you mentioned India. Andria as there. Russia is there. Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia. So, you take a look at other countries. Pakistan is there. They should be fighting. But Russia should be fighting. The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt. They went into being called Russia again as opposed to the Soviet Union. A lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer a part of Russia because of Afghanistan. But why isn’t Russia there? Why isn’t India there in we there and we’re 6,000 miles away? But I don’t mind. We want to help our people, help other nations.”
Russia isn’t in Afghanistan because, as you said, it lost that war in the 1980s. Russia wasn’t there, the Soviet Union was, and it wasn’t right. Your party spent billions to hire private armies and create al-Qaeda to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan. It is sort of like, you know, the US not being in Vietnam, because the US also lost that war. But you missed that one, didn’t you, Bone Spurs?
India hasn’t ruled Afghanistan since the fall of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century. Nowadays Pakistan is rather in the way. What with being president and mouthing off on South Asian affairs, maybe you would like to read a book on Afghan history? Or Indian history? Or an 800 word article in a magazine? Something?
- “You do have terrorists, mostly Taliban but is. I’ll give you an example. So tall ISIS is an enemy. We have an area where Taliban is here, ISIS is here and they’re fighting each other. I said why don’t you let them fight? Why are we getting in the middle of it? I said let them fight. They’re both our enemies, let them fight. Sir, we want to do it. They go in and end up fighting both of them. It the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I think I would have been a good general but who knows. These are two enemies fighting again but what are we doing? He’s done a fantastic job. He’s brought the country together. “
Because if we let the Taliban and ISIL fight it out over Afghanistan, one of them is likely to win and we’d rather neither of them took over Afghanistan. We’d kind of like the Afghanistan National Army to come out on top. Maybe that isn’t possible, but your plan is, let us say, ferret-brained.
You asked ‘who knows’ whether you would have been a good general. You idiot, you are in charge of the generals. You’re the commander in chief of the military. You’re declaring your generals failures. Guess who is the failure-in-chief in that case?
- “India, Russia, you look at some of the satellite countries that are extremely wealthy with oil, surrounding. I spoke to some of them. They — I said to a certain They — I said to a certain country, very rich country, what would you do if the United States pulled out? Oh, we’d be taken over by the Taliban and terrorists. I said, ah. They b then why are you charging us when we have to use your country to send product through? Why are you charging us when we send airplanes over your country? We’re doing the job for you, why are you charging us? He said to me, very great gentleman, smart. He said to me, well, nobody ever asked me not to. I said I’m asking you not to. He said we will not charge you. And I’m talking about millions and millions of dollars. Flights over his country. But I say to him, what would happen if we weren’t here? And he looks at me and he goes we would be overrun. We could not defend ourselves. And yet he charges us. But he doesn’t charge us anymore,”
There aren’t any oil countries at risk of being over-run by the Taliban. Kazakhstan is the nearest I can think of, and it isn’t that near. Iran is an oil country but it would make mincemeat of the Taliban, and you weren’t talking to them. Pakistan doesn’t have oil. What in the world are you talking about?. My head hurts now.
- “UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your timetable?
TRUMP: Somebody said four months. Obama gave up Syria when he didn’t violate the red line. I did when I shot 59 missiles in but that was a long time later. And when President Obama decided not to violate his statement that never cross the red line and then they did and he didn’t do anything about it, you know, make a threat is OK but you always have to follow through with the threat. You can’t make a threat and then do nothing. So, Syria was lost long ago. It was lost long ago. And besides that, I don’t want — we’re talking about sand and death. That’s what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and debt.”
Let me help you here. You were getting out of Syria in a month and now it is four months, because your joint chiefs of staff insisted on four.
You said you were getting out of Syria because ISIL had been defeated. Now you say you are getting out because Syria was “lost” and because it has no resources for you to loot. You’re still not very good at this politics thing. You’re supposed to stick with your cover story.
- “Now, the Kurds, it’s very interesting, Turkey doesn’t like them, other people do. I didn’t like the fact that there selling the small oil they have to Iran. But Kurds are selling oil to Iran. I’m not happy about it at all. At the same time, they fight better when we fight with them. When we send 30 f-18s in front of them, they fight much better than they do when we don’t. And you’ve we want to protect the Kurds. But I don’t want to be in Syria forever. It sad and the death. If we fight ISIS– you know where else they’re going? To Iran, who hates ISIS more than we do. They’re going to Russia, who hates is more than we do. Then I read when we pull out, Russia is thrilled. You know why they’re not happy? Because this be and we’re killing ISIS also for Iran. And just while we’re on Iran because people don’t like to write the facts. Iran is a much different country than it was when I became President. Iran when I became President, I had a meeting at the Pentagon with lots of generals, they were like for a pry, better looking than Tom Cruz and stronger. I’ve had more I said this is the greatest room I’ve ever seen. I saw more computer boards than I think that they make today.”
The Syrian Kurds produce 40,000 barrels a day, which they sell to the al-Assad regime. Iran produces nearly 4 million barrels a day and does not need oil from Syrian Kurds.
If you mean that Iraq in 2018 shipped oil to Iran from Kirkuk, this is true, but that was done by the Shiites of Baghdad, not by the Kurds, who lost control of Kirkuk in fall of 2017. However, Iran sends refined petroleum to south Iraq, so this exchange just repaid those Iranian exports to Iraq by sending an equal amount of petroleum to northern Iranian refineries. This arrangement was for Iraq’s sake, not Iran’s and it has nothing at all to do with Kurds, and the arrangement was cancelled by Baghdad in October.
My headache is splitting now, sort of like that asteroid in the Armageddon film. It is like Bruce Willis is setting off explosives in the brain crevices. How do you not suffer from the same thing, given that you are the one with the ferrets running around in there?
I have to go to bed now. Unfortunately when I wake up, you’ll still be talking and you’ll still be president. Though of what, I’m not sure, since your major cabinet members are either temporary place holders or grifters or both and you have shut down your own government and likely Mueller has prepared indictments against you and your children and your known associates, and there are several House committees preparing subpoenas.
PBS NewsHour: “WATCH: Trump answers questions on shutdown, Mattis, border wall”