The bipartisan interventionists’ jig is just about up, so they damn Mr. Trump

The very best part of the Democratic Convention was the evident panic among party leaders over the clear chance that Donald Trump may intend to construct a foreign policy grounded in the concept of America First.

Speaker after speaker railed that Trump is inexperienced in world affairs and lacks a coherent strategic view of the world. These allegations, of course, come from a party that gave the American people the foreign-policy ignoramus Barack Obama in 2008 and the always-wrong, Israel-obsessed, and war-loving Hillary Clinton in 2016. As to the Democratic hacks’ charges of incoherence, what, if not incoherent to the point of being moronic, is the Obama-Clinton foreign policy — supported by the Republican establishment — of fighting Islamists while encouraging them to send fighters to North America in the guise of refugees; removing Mubarak and Gadhafi, trying to oust Syria’s al-Asaad, but supporting all other Arab tyrants and at the same moment calling for stability, peace, and democracy in the Arab world; funding the overthrow of the pro-Russia regime in Ukraine and then blaming Russia for starting a new Cold War and crippling her with economic sanctions; pounding the war drums with Russia, while knowing Putin’s panzers would be in Paris in two weeks or less unless the United States initiated an all-out nuclear war on behalf of the infantile Europeans; and building up Shia Iran as a regional power and at the same time calling for more money, men, and blood from our so-called allies in the Sunni world to defeat the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, thereby further strengthening Iran.

Now it is fair to say that no one really knows which way Mr. Trump will jump on any given issue. Of late, he has said things about Israel that sound like he may turn out to be another vile Neocon. His repeated talk about bombing ISIS and AQ to hell, smacks of both a limited acquaintance with the nature of the Islamist foe and continuity with the effete and war-losing U.S. foreign policy Bill Clinton began in 1998. And it is not clear — at least to me — whether his pledge to conduct the much-needed strengthening of U.S. military will include the even more-needed purging of that military’s politically correct leadership, men and women who think their main duty is to protect the enemy’s civilians and that it is okay for them to lose every war they are told to fight.

But there are some important signs that Mr. Trump is armed for bear when it comes to an America First foreign policy. The crocodile tears expended by senior Democrats over Mr. Trump’s resolute unwillingness to adore the false god named NATO is a positive sign. Even a man I respect enormously — Ralph Peters, who is in no way a Democratic hack — has attacked Mr. Trump because he has had the nerve to identify NATO for the rubbish pile it has become. Last week, Colonel Peters, who I tremble to disagree with, called out Mr. Trump for not recognizing that NATO had kept the peace in Europe for more than 60 years, saying he was, as a result, willing to vote, “with disgust,” for Hillary Clinton for president.

With all respect to the estimable Colonel Peters, I think that Mr. Trump knows that it was the magnificently trained and led, and reliably death-dealing U.S. military at the end of World War II, and then the U.S. nuclear deterrent, not NATO, that intimidated the Soviet Union and kept Europeans’ ill-deserved peace. Few NATO members ever spent what they pledged to spend on their militaries during the Cold War. And after the USSR dissolved in 1991 all immediately cut their consistent underspending even more. Why? Because they knew that the U.S. deterrent was still in place — though today badly eroded by Obama and Mrs. Clinton — and that the profligate U.S. bipartisan governing elite was willing to accept their mixture of pro-NATO rhetoric with growing military weakness, obsolescence, and pacifism, and cover for it by increasing the tax burden on Americans to defend 27 NATO countries who refuse to defend themselves. Clearly, Mr. Trump has Europe’s number on this issue. The now-panicked European, Republican, and Democratic elites suspect (a) he intends to put a stop to their scam and (b) the American people will support him on the issue. The Trumpian response to the issue of NATO should be that of the Founders — neutrality and non-intervention. For America, a Europe worth defending no longer exists.

The importance of Trump’s apparent America First plan can again be seen with exquisite clarity in the current media-fueled spat between Trump and the Democrats’ convention speaker Khizr Khan. Mr. Khan spoke to the Democrats and opened by saying that he first wanted to remember all of America’s veterans — a point for which there was nothing but silence from his audience. Mr. Khan also spoke of his son, who was killed in Iraq while serving as a captain in the army, a man for whom Trump would only have praise and call on others to offer the same. Ask yourself, what other presidential candidate in either party has done as much as Trump to materially assist veterans? The answer is of course none, and that answer should be expanded by noting that not only does Trump stand alone on this issue, but the 20 other Republican and Democratic 2016 presidential candidates are all part of the bipartisan governing elite that has knowingly allowed the Veterans Administration to become the callous killer of veterans.

Mr. Khan, after correctly honoring all veterans and his son, disappears into the mists of the Democratic Party’s truly astounding ignorance of the United States. He waves his pocket Constitution at Trump because the latter has said we ought to ban the entry of Muslims until we have identified and controlled the threat posed by those already in the United States. Mr. Khan seems — like his party colleagues, Obama, and Mrs. Clinton — to be unaware that the U.S. Constitution was written to govern and protect the security and liberty only of Americans, it has no legitimate application to foreigners, and certainly poses no legal obstacle to halting immigration from any or all countries if that is want Americans want as their policy. If Mr. Khan was going to wave his Constitution at anyone it ought to have been Obama, who has flooded the United States with unvetted and therefore illegally admitted Muslims, thereby knowingly and substantially increased the domestic Islamic threat.

Mr. Khan also should have known, that while he and we correctly honor and respect his son’s sacrifice in Iraq, his son died uselessly in a war that no president and neither political party has ever wanted to win. Captain Khan did his duty to his countrymen, comrades, and the republic, but his life and the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of other military women and men have been utterly wasted in unnecessary, interventionist wars started unconstitutionally by U.S. presidents, supported by the war-mongering and Israel-loving U.S. Congress and Senate, and imposed on war-opposing Americans by the interventionist unanimity of both party establishments and the media. You and I, Mr. Khan, are also more than a little responsible for you son’s death, and all of the other casualties mentioned above, because we have consistently voted for party leaders who love to start wars, but care about neither winning nor the military lives that are wasted. It is too late to help your son, Mr. Khan, but, by God, it is worth giving Mr. Trump a shot and see if he can save the life of my military-aged son, and the military-aged sons of so many other Americans, by keeping the United States government from starting and/or intervening in wars that are irrelevant to U.S. national security.

And if Mr. Khan was not wrong-headed enough, today (1 August 2016), we have Senator McCain and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) condemning Trump for defending himself against Mr. Khan’s constitutional ignorance. This is truly and tragically comical. Do the members of the VFW not now that Captain Khan and so many others have died in wars that none of the last four presidents ever intended to win? Do they not recognize that they and Americans generally have been played for fools? That their children have been sent to fight and perish in wars against vastly inferior enemies that their president and senior general officers were quite content to lose, and who then traveled to Arlington to deliver syrupy, pseudo-patriotic, and completely hypocritical eulogies for the fallen service personnel that they killed through their unnecessary interventionism and refusal to attain victory? And, finally, do the VFW members really not know that Senator McCain and his sidekicks Senator Graham, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Bloomberg have been just as responsible as any recent president for sending military men and women to die in unnecessary wars they did not intend to win, and in which they did not care how many U.S, military personnel died as they amateurishly indulged in playing the role of he-men at war.

The bottom line, at least for me, is that with the republic apparently in its economic death throes, Mr. Trump’s America First orientation — if he delivers substance to match his promise — gives America a chance to save itself. It is time to get out of NATO, let the Europeans defend themselves, stop all immigration for ten years, close the border, let all of the Middle East burn to the ground, stop beating the war drums with Russia, and adopt a neutral and non-interventionist foreign policy. We would thereby give America a chance to put its own house in order and rebuilt its ability to defend itself without greedy, worthless, and encumbering allies. Such a tack would also give each party a chance to either purge their leadership of interventionists, warmongers, and Israel-Firsters, or die because they refuse to do so. Only Mr. Trump seems willing to try to make such a win possible for America.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.