Written by Tom Luongo; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org
August of 2017 was the nadir of the Trump administration. At that point impeachment was on the table. Trump was mired in racist controversy over violence at Charlottesville. He had a falling out with Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
Robert Mueller’s investigation was ramping up. Members of his cabinet turned against, notably Gary Cohn.
He was forced to sign a new sanctions bill, rammed down his throat by John McCain, an expansion of the odious Magnitsky Act. And, to sue for temporary peace, in my opinion, he made a deal with his opposition on Capitol Hill to leave foreign policy to the ‘big boys’ while he got to play around with domestic policy.
That’s usually the end of the story of reformers who win the White House. As long as foreign policy objectives supporting the globalist expansion of universal debt slavery and transnational corporate autonomy were left alone, the Puppet-in-Chief could tinker with changes to domestic policy.
Not too much, just enough to satisfy the base and ensure the Gravy Train keeps on dropping off its booty to the rentier-class which benefits from this arrangement.
This is why Trump agreed to a massive surge of troops in Afghanistan last year. In no way do I believe this was his idea. Moreover, given what’s been happening this summer my original read last year looks both prescient and accurate.
Donald Trump made a deal with the Neocons in Washington. He traded part of his domestic agenda for ceding control of foreign policy to the D.C. establishment.
It’s obvious when you connect the dots. Signing the sanctions bill, the non-shift in Afghanistan policy, the tit-for-tat diplomatic aggression with Russia, weapons to Ukraine, etc…
He traded it for an easier time to get tax cuts and Obamacare repeal through. They gave him tax cuts but not Obamacare or border security. John McCain and Lindsay Graham tried to neuter Trump by saddling him with policies he campaigned against.
And they thought it would do long-term, irreparable damage to his relationship with his base.
They were wrong. Because, as I also said, in the same article…
…now these people have been unmasked as to just how vile and depraved they truly are to a huge swath of the American public.
He [TRUMP] can still go to his base and weakly sell the Neocon’s agenda because that’s part of the deal.
But, it will ring false.
And very few in the base will believe it.
Moreover, many of them will gladly take tax relief and Obamacare repeal (or do I repeat myself?) for a few more thousand troops in Afghanistan and open conflict in Ukraine.
And that’s the key. I always felt Trump would let the neoconservatives hang themselves on a self-made altar of their own failed ideology. Trump then could build small wins into bigger wins on issue after issue.
Eventually, the Koreans along with Russia and China made it easy for Trump to turn the tables on them by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong-un. Kim’s walk across the DMZ was a game-changer for peace.
Putin changed the world with his March 1st unveiling of weapon systems that no American in their right mind would dismiss.
The false flag operations in Eastern Ghouta and Salisbury further galvanized Trump’s base (and his opposition) while anti-Russian hysteria reached a fever pitch that left the center of the American electorate frightened, not morally-outraged.
All of a sudden Trump could go to Singapore and Helsinki and begin repairing what had been needlessly broken. And he could do it with the consent of the people over the opposition of the political class than their quislings in the chattering class.
So, what does this have to do with Afghanistan?
Because for more than a year Russia, China, Pakistan and others, most notably India and Iran, have been in talks with moderate factions within the Taliban to craft a peaceful rapprochement with the government in Kabul.
And that sets the stage for the recent reports that the Trump administration, previously very hostile to these talks, beginning the same dialogue with the Taliban.
It seems like the moment is arriving where Trump can take the albatross of the seventeen-year Afghan war from around his neck and place it on its architects, the Neoconservatives who fully revealed themselves for what they’ve always been, globalists not patriots.
Now, granted, early talks here have not been fruitful. But, any discussion is better than none. The Taliban sent a letter outlining their demands to the U.S. earlier this year and it begins and ends with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. Recent talks confirm the lack of movement.
“The only demand they made was to allow their military bases in Afghanistan,” said the Taliban official.
“We have held three meetings with the U.S. and we reached a conclusion to continue talks for meaningful negotiations,” said a second Taliban official.
“However, our delegation made it clear to them that peace can only be restored to Afghanistan when all foreign forces are withdrawn,” he said.
We know why the bases must be maintained, to act as pressure points long-term on Iran and leave the door open to return when it suits our political needs.
With Imran Khan winning election as the leader of Pakistan there is a fundamental change in that country’s position on continued U.S. presence in the region. Khan wants closer ties to China and it doesn’t hurt that China is pouring billions into Pakistan in support of the One Belt, One Road Initiative.
The $53 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor carries a lot more weight than the $1.3 billion in military aid Trump withdrew from Pakistan earlier in the year.
Russia, very smartly, included Pakistan in the initial talks with the Taliban back in December 2016 to elevate Pakistan’s standing in the negotiations.
While it annoyed India, initially, there can be no hope of a substantive change to the situation in Afghanistan without the cooperation of its most important neighbor. Subsequent rounds of talks included both India and Iran among others.
It’s time for the U.S. to withdraw from both Afghanistan and Syria. With ISIS nearly eliminated in Syria and Iraq, it is only a matter of time before they are done there too.
The problem, of course, is the opposition to this drawing down of the Empire back home.
Early talks with both the Taliban and Russia have not yielded much, except words. Words are better than bombs.
It will come down to the mid-term elections in the end. If the “Blue Wave” the Democrats and the Deep State are hoping for becomes a “Red Tide” with the bodies washing up on shore the leadership of the DNC and the GOP, then Trump will get the leeway to “declare victory and leave.”
If not, then we’re staring at a much bleaker future.
If Jim Jatras is correct in his recent article, that Trump is on board with the Tri-Polar world offered by China and Russia, then this squares with opening up talks with the Taliban to craft a solution. Jim is less sanguine than I am about this November’s elections, however.
I’m expecting that Red Tide. All signs point to it.
Situations like Afghanistan and Syria are meant to remain as open wounds to use as convenient bogeymen to whip up public sentiment and stoke fear. All they are doing now is further polarizing an American electorate, with the Left openly declaring their need to be in power than on the right side of history.
And that’s what should scare everyone. It’s obvious it scares Trump.