August 22, 2017 9:23 am -

Slick real estate promoter and former university owner Donald Trump made isolationism and nationalism a cornerstone of his campaign, giving his easily-scammed deplorables goosebumps with all of his not-so-fancy “America first! Make! America! Grate! Again!” rhetoric. Last night, Trump announced a 180º turn on isolationist policy in a speech on plans to end the war in Afghanistan. There wasn’t the least trace of “win and win big” rhetoric as Trump stuck to the TelePrompTer script his handlers had cobbled out for him.

Deep State Nation points us to this juicy chunk from this morning’s WaPo:

Defense Secretary Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both generals with extensive battlefield experience in Afghanistan, warned Trump about the consequences of withdrawal and cautioned that any move in Afghanistan would have ripple effects throughout the region.

One of the ways McMaster tried to persuade Trump to recommit to the effort was by convincing him that Afghanistan was not a hopeless place. He presented Trump with a black-and-white snapshot from 1972 of Afghan women in miniskirts walking through Kabul, to show him that Western norms had existed there before and could return.

DSN’s April Hamlin adds:

[H]ow did McMaster do it? Why, with pictures of girls in miniskirts of course. …

I suppose you have to give McMaster credit for knowing his audience, but it is more than a little disturbing that our “commander in chief” is making military decisions based on the chances of seeing a little leg.

That was not said merely in jest.

Trump’s base should be cheesed off at the instant endorsements Trump’s announcement received:

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who’ve blasted Trump in the past over his nationalistic foreign-policy views, hailed the president’s decision Monday to increase the U.S. footprint in the 16-year war against the Taliban.

“I commend President Trump for taking a big step in the right direction with the new strategy for Afghanistan,” said McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I believe the president is now moving us well beyond the prior administration’s failed strategy of merely postponing defeat.”

McCain touted the fact that Trump’s strategy “gives no timeline for withdrawal” — one of the senator’s major issues with the war plan pursued by former President Barack Obama.

On FOX News, Graham said he was “proud” of Trump.

“President Trump has the smarts and the moral courage to listen to his generals and take their advice rather than go the political way,” he said.

You can practically hear the nationalist heads exploding in the background – especially given the similarity to two other presidents’ Afghanistan strategy:

Trump now inherits the same challenges as George W. Bush and Barack Obama, including a stubborn Taliban insurgency and a weak, divided government in Kabul. He is laying the groundwork for greater U.S. involvement without a clear end in sight or providing specific benchmarks for success.

Bottom line: this is going to hit Trump right where it hurts the most – in his favorability score, including the “‘Murrica first!!!1!” faction of his cult-like followers.

All in all, Trump’s announcement did not go over well on Twitter with his base or his critics:

[That’s right: no sign of Sebastian Gorks’s all-time favorite trope!]

Heckuva job, Trumpy!

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.