Winning over the civilian populations of divided lands is the key to successful counter-terrorism operations, according to United States military doctrine.
It’s the basis of the “hearts and minds” strategy we tried and failed to implement in Vietnam, Cuba, China, Nicaragua, Iraq and Afghanistan via one corrupt puppet regime after another. Even as the same strategy succeeded spectacularly in places like Puerto Rico, The Philippines, Hawaii, Korea, Germany and Japan.
The outcome of overseas military operations often hinges on the quality of our allies. However, President Donald Trump's racist insults virtually guarantee we'll only get the second-stringers whose principles are for sale.
This is especially problematic for Special Forces teams training foreign personnel in the Middle East. Which is part of the reason Admiral William H. McRaven, the former commander of Joint Special Forces Command, called Trump “the greatest threat” to America in his lifetime.
The sharp-tongued patrician has verbally lashed the principled moderates of the Islamic world our military is trying to win over. As well as a good portion of the rest of the human race.
The Cynical Times estimates Trump's primitive tribal rhetoric has been publicly directed toward at least four-fifths of the 7.6 billion people on Planet Earth. He's radicalizing moderates into terrorists faster than any firebrand imam on the planet.
Counter-terrorism is a three-dimensional chess game, but Trump is strictly checkers when it comes to strategic thinking. He has a linear mind which proceeds from Point A to Point B by the most direct and predictable two-dimensional route.
Call it fake news.
Pretend all Muslims are terrorists.
Need bribe money?
Make lobbyists pay big membership fees to meet with you at a Trump Organization golf course.
The best argument against our nation's fitness to continue to serve as the world's sole remaining superpower and the leader of the free world is the fact that we elected this rich loon in the first place.
There's a reason retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, a former director of the CIA, said Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric made us “less safe,” and would help jihadist recruiters portray The War on Terror as a religious war between Islam and the West.
It's the same reason current Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who works for Trump, implied the president’s vocal racism had eliminated our ability to lead the world via inspiration. Leaving only intimidation in our toolkit.
These remarks are not political rhetoric. They’re principled statements by Americans who have devoted their lives to the greater good.
These guys aren’t running for office. There’s no financial incentive for them to criticize this terrible president.
They're simply trying to warn us of an impending disaster. Sadly, many of us aren't listening.
Trump's improbable rise to power illustrates the three Achilles Heels of modern American thinking.
The first weakness is the idiotic idea that money is the sole measure of a man.
The second is our widespread inability to ask ourselves "how much is too much" for everything from the offshoring of U.S. jobs, to corporate profit growth, to the huge increases in college tuition and medical costs.
The third is a form of collective behavior called "nudge theory," which holds that most people do what is easiest for them instead of what is wisest. Like electing a serial liar who deals in comforting lies about American exceptionalism, instead of painful truths about our past shortcomings.
Trump would be doing great things in The Oval Office if money was really a reliable measure of personal value and there was no such thing as the law of diminishing returns.
Instead, he's in way over his head on the world stage and has already done more damage to America's global standing in his first eight months in The Oval Office than all of the world's Saddams, Diems, Noriegas, Osamas, and Gaddafis. This demagogue has also divided the nation, putting America on a path toward civil war in a transparent bid to create enough chaos to justify the assumption of dictatorial powers.
Trump recently waged a war of words with the 33-year-old leader of the backward nation of North Korea, which he lost when fellow silver spoon Kim Jung-un called him a "dotard." That's a fancy way of calling someone an old fool, which is exactly what this abortion of a president is.
Fellow Republican Bob Corker has sounded a similar tone. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee compared the Trump White House to an "adult day care center" this morning and said its occupant had set the U.S. on a path to World War III.
"He concerns me (and should) concern anyone who cares about our nation," Corker told The New York Times. "I know for a fact that every single day at the White House it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”
Trump is already widely viewed as the worst president in modern American history and possibly all-time. The fact that so many Trump loyalists ignore this painful truth is an illustration of just how detached from reality and incapable of personal accountability they are.
America is ailing right now and the problem is a simple: Too Much Trump.
Sadly, Trump has neither a volume dial nor a pause button.
This 71-year-old adolescent thinks that's a sign of weakness.
Trump's fake tough guy posturing is already wearing thin on the American people, many of them legitimate tough guys who wince at this poser nonsense. The POTUS' frequent tantrums have given way to something called "Trump fatigue."
His presidential approval rating fell to a new low of 32 percent today in a poll by The Associated Press.
The rich playboy combines a wealth of unfortunate personal qualities which are endemic to those born into great wealth and collectively known as “affluenza.” None is as detrimental to military success as his deep-seated bigotry and diarrhea of the mouth.
Affluenza refers to rich fools so insulated from personal accountability they never develop a sense of right and wrong.
The religious term for Trump's upbringing is “spare the rod and spoil the child.” The psychiatric term is “narcissistic personality disorder." That's what mental health professionals call an entitled person who doesn't care about other people's needs.
Working class New Yorkers have an even more direct way of describing the adolescent Trumps of the world, who habitually speed past them in their limousines and luxury sports cars. They simply say "homeboy didn't get beat up nearly enough in junior high."
No group has felt Trump's verbal lash so deeply as the planet’s 1.8 billion Muslims. With the possible exception of its 500 million Hispanics, 1.2 billion Blacks, 1.3 billion residents of mainland China, and 3.8 billion females.
Our enemies no longer need to say a word to bring about America's demise. All they have to do is sit back and let this rich clown do their work for them.
More is often less in counter-terrorism operations like the amorphous War on Terror we’ve been waging against Muslim extremists since 9/11. Especially for moderate Muslims.
Because every innocent killed by accident spawns a dozen new radicals. Which is why our professional warriors work so hard to limit the harm done to civilians. Trump thinks it's done solely to be merciful and humane, which are qualities he wrongly abhors as weakness.
Vilifying all Muslims is akin to slapping a lover who is trying to choose between you and another suitor. There’s no quicker way to make your opponent’s case for them.
"Treating all citizens of Muslim nations like potential terrorists alienates our Muslim allies who are fighting terrorists with America today," retried U.S. Marine Pete Kiernan, a special forces veteran, said on the military website Task & Purpose. "Nowhere are these effects so palpable than with the special operations forces around the globe who interact with these allies on a day-to-day basis."
Trump is a lot of things, but he’s neither a sweet talker nor a principled man. He’s accustomed to using money and force to get his way, but money and force don’t work on the best of our potential allies and enemies overseas.
They work splendidly with corrupt opportunists like our former losing Cuban puppet Fulgencio Batista, our former losing Iraqi puppet Ayad Allaawi, and our former losing South Vietnamese puppet Ngô Đình Diệm. However, the principled nationalist leaders who defeated them - Fidel Castro, Muqtada al-Sadr and Ho Chi Mihn - are not swayed by such bribes and make much better allies.
Clearly, Trump does not understand this. He still thinks everyone has a price, just as they do in the business world.
The man is incapable of original thought and critical analysis. One thing he is good at is regurgitating and legitimizing baseless information from right-wing con artists like Alex Jones, who has been described by his own lawyer as a "performance artist." Not a journalist.
Trump also seems to struggle with the sheer size and scale of his new duties as leader of the free world.
Although The Trump Organization has 20,000 employees on paper, Trump's personal managerial experience was limited to directing small teams of relatives and close friends who could not succeed without him. Not leading a nation of 322 million and managing a federal bureaucracy comprised of 2 million employees, 7.5 million contractors, and 1.4 million military service members.
His new employees include self-made men like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who are unimpressed by the trappings of wealth. The former university janitor, who rose to become CEO of ExxonMobil, reportedly slammed Trump as a “moron” over the summer.
In his first eight months in office Trump has lashed out at the 193 member nations of The United Nations and 27 European nations in The North American Treaty Organization for not “paying their way.”
Lord knows, the real estate tycoon and Reality TV Star should be intimately familiar with the concept. His companies have declared bankruptcy six times to escape paying their debts.
Trump also received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War to avoid serving in our nation’s military. The same military he now leads. At least on paper.
Here’s the problem: leadership is done by example. Which is why we’ve been paying more than our fair share for NATO and The UN since we helped create them after World War II.
When Trump rewrites global history to present us as the victim of our own conduct toward global organizations where we exert disproportionate power, he tells our allies the world’s only remaining superpower is rotting away from the inside and no longer fit to lead. This unintended message can have dire consequences for both the inhabitants of our 800 foreign military bases and our people here at home.
The painful truth is that the U.S. is now a vast global empire. One which has quadrupled its foreign military bases since 1998.
We've been the world's only superpower for the past 27 years now and have spent the last 16 waging nearly continuous warfare against Muslim extremists. Mostly in oil rich nations.
The rest of the world is growing weary of the drama. It can't just go on and on.
One of the other painful truths of human existence is that political legitimacy is often diminished by public displays of power. Regardless of whether they're being undertaken by law enforcement officers against Black Americans or by military personnel dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal on an Afghan terror complex.
"We were all scared, and my children and my wife were crying," said an Afghan villager, whose home was rocked by the detonation of a 21,000 pound U.S. bomb nearly 2 miles away in April.
"I have witnessed a countless number of explosions and bombings in the last 30 years of war in Afghanistan, but this one was more powerful than any other bomb as far as I remember," added the villager, whose windows were blown out.
One day soon those chickens may come home to roost as the world tires of the global police state we've tried to create since 9/11. With Trump as America's public face the timeline is shrinking precipitously.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, our former ally, accused the United States of brutally misusing Afghanistan as a "testing ground for new and dangerous weapons" after the 21,000 pound bomb was dropped.
All of which brings us back to the one question the self-described "Masters of the Universe" on Wall Street are woe to ask, much less answer: "How much is too much?"
The Trump soap opera, who took office Feb. 20, may have passed that point as early as March 1.
Bottom line, this sheltered fool is going down and the U.S. is going down with him. Just like the hated Nazis who started World War II as the world's foremost military power in 1939 and ended the war in 1945 with a starving population begging its enemies for mercy. A population where the surviving Nazis and their lackeys were suddenly trying to pass themselves off as anti-fascists
Most Americans don't know that the Nazis were widely admired by much of the world when they first came to power in 1933. Just like us.
They don't know that Hitler was still being taken seriously as a statesman as late as Christmas of 1940, when he was featured in neighboring Sweden's "Weekly Journal" magazine (above). Just like Trump.
They don't know that the Nazis lavished praise, wealth and elevated social standing on Germany's military and law enforcement in a transparent bid to curry favor with the portion of the masses they needed to transform their democracy into a police state. Just like Trump.
They don't know Nazi Germany had thousands of publications devoted to the Jewish Question before they finally arrived at their Final Solution. Much as the U.S. now has a Right Wing Noise Machine devoted to demonizing Muslims, feminists, liberals, the poor, Blacks, Hispanics, and legitimate journalists.
They don't know that discrediting such comparisons - as these propagandists have sought to do - only serves those following the supremacist playbook for global domination. It didn't end well the last time and there's no reason to expect a different outcome this time.
In the absence of that information, fascism and empire look like a lot more fun than they really are. Especially to rich fools like Trump and his idiot followers.
Everyone has heard of the millions of Russians, Poles, Gypsies and Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. However, most people don’t know those camps were reopened afterward by vengeful Russians, Poles, and Czechs to facilitate the postwar deaths of roughly 3 million Germans. Civilian and military alike.
The horrible truth is that millions of Poles and Czechs of German descent were also killed by their own neighbors, forced from their homes, and sent fleeing to a ruined Fatherland. Men were summarily executed, women were raped, and babies starved. Homes and possessions were appropriated without compensation.
Those postwar atrocities have been excluded from both our high school history textbooks and the popular Hollywood films Trump is so fond of. They're documented in relatively obscure books, like British historian Niles MacDonough's courageous "After the Reich."
This is not the future we want for ourselves, but it's exactly the past Trump and his pals in the Alt-Right seem to be nostalgic for. It's also the kind of fate which awaits us if the American corporate and military empire fails before a more enlightened leader can bring us in for a soft landing.
Everyone is going to pretend they were anti-Trump all along after this empire collapses. However, it’s not going to matter anymore to a vengeful world which is tired of our bullshit.
I’m no fan of the American empire, but self-preservation is an instinct I possess. I’m frightened for the future because I'm familiar with the brutal history of failed empires.
We can neither continue this doomed Wall Street empire with Trump as commander-in-chief, nor peacefully dismantle it.
If self-preservation is an instinct you possess, you’ve got to know that he’s got to go. If not, then just keep doubling down.
Just like someone holding a hurricane party who has never been hit by a hurricane or a 13-year-old virgin who thinks they know all about love from watching Internet porn.
Speculation about the impending demise of America is so great that the Paddy Power betting website now has more than 100 different bets which can be placed on our imbecile president, in 10 different Trump markets. One is called "Trump Narcissism Specials."
-Odds of Trump being impeached in his first term: 2-1
-Odds of Trump resigning in his first term: Even
-Odds of the FBI confirming Russia colluded in Trump's election: 4/9
-Odds of Trump's marriage ending before his presidency: 5/1
-Odds of a Trump sex tape being leaked online in 2017: 14/1
-Odds Trump will legalize waterboarding: 7/1
-Odds Rex Tillerson will be the next member of the Trump cabinet to exit: 4/11