Is the expanded Afghanistan War Trump's New Mexican wall?

Last night, Monday, August 21, Trump read a speech committing more American troops to an Afghanistan war that has involved American troops since 2001.

He read from a teleprompter for thirty minutes.

Atop and throughout the speech, there was much generic admiration and recognition of our military and the sacrifices they make. Yet only yesterday Trump unsympathetically and shockingly said, "That's too bad," when asked by reporters about the sailors lost and presumed dead on the destroyer USS John S. McCain in the Pacific.

Who wrote the speech? One of the generals now running our civilian government? Maybe?

Most of the speech itself was familiar American policy mirroring the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama too.

There were also some familiar Trump false boasts (lies) in the speech. For example, "Under my administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military, and this includes vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and missile defense."

Amidst policy statements, he attempted to project himself as a proponent of American values, to undo his stated support last week for the white supremacists in Charlottesville - "Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate."

Trump's most glaring and laughable lie was this: "So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle." Trump is no more capable of "studying" anything "in great detail and from every conceivable angle" than he is capable of being President.

But, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, one statement in the speech was totally new.

First, Trump said "In this struggle, the heaviest burden will continue to be borne by the good people of Afghanistan and their courageous armed forces."

Then came this bewildering sentence, "As the prime minister of Afghanistan has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us."

We know that Trump couldn't have written the first sentence of that paragraph - too complex, too kind - but the mangled, obscuring second sentence seems to express a policy that is his alone.

What does it mean - "we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us."

Is this another lie analogous to 'Mexico will pay for the wall'? Or is this comparable to an approach he has supported since 2011 when he urged theft be our national policy for the war in Iraq, "Take the oil"?

In 2011, he told the WSJ, that taking the oil in Iraq would not amount to stealing. "You're not stealing anything," Trump said. "We're reimbursing ourselves … at a minimum, and I say more. We're taking back $1.5tn to reimburse ourselves."

At an NBC candidate forum on September 6 during the 2016 campaign, Trump said this, "We go in, we spend $3tn, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then … what happens is we get nothing. You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils."

Afghanistan is a very poor and war- ravished country, with largely un-mined iron, copper, gold, cobalt, rare earth metals, and lithium resources.

Does Trump see the sacrifice of additional American men and women as an opportunity for plunder and more Trump wealth? Is that what led him to expand, rather than end, the Afghan War, as he has long promised?

What does he expect to take and how does he expect to make the Afghan government pay?

Call the White House and your elected officials and ask.

We have the right to know, and to object.


August 22, 2017

Addendum. Rachel Maddow asked about this same phrase in her report on Trump's speech and policy. We thank her for calling attention to it.

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