The response to Donald Trump’s Afghanistan speech was quick and negative—from the right. All eyes were on Steve Bannon, who was eased out by new Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Now we’ve heard from him from his platform, Breitbart.
Just minutes after President Donald Trump concluded his Afghanistan policy speech Monday night, the conservative site took an aggressive, critical approach to the address and Trump’s new policy. A banner headline blasted the president’s decision to extend the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan as a “flip-flop” that “reverses course.”
Articles likened him to his predecessor, President Barack Obama — a known sore spot for Trump. . .
“Trump’s ‘America First’ Base Unhappy with Flip-Flop Afghanistan Speech,” blared one headline.
The lead of the main story contained a series of subtle digs: “President Trump unveiled his plan for Afghanistan after seven months of deliberation Monday evening, announcing tweaks around the edges of the current strategy instead of a different approach,” read the lead sentence of Breitbart’s wrap on the speech.
Bannon also suggested that Trump was being ruled by his advisors, according to Breitbart, under the headline, “His McMaster’s Voice. . .”
HR McMaster’s voice was clear to hear. It’s a voice that appears to have been carried over from the George W. Bush administration, and even the Obama White House. . .
What was evident during the wending and sometimes contradictory speech, was the alien language and policy as far was POTUS’s supporters are concerned: it was McMaster’s Voice, and does not require a team of scientists in Nevada — per Lem’s novel — to figure that out.
And Breitbart says Trump’s base is not happy about it, under the headline, “Trump’s ‘America First’ Base Unhappy with Flip-Flop Afghanistan Speech.”
President Trump’s “America First” base was the biggest loser of Trump’s speech on Afghanistan Monday night, and many quickly expressed their disappointment at the business-as-usual address from the president who had once promised to limit American intervention abroad and focus on nation-building at home. . .
Using many of the same vague promises that previous presidents had used, including a repeat of Obama’s promise not to give a “blank check” to Afghanistan and a pledge to finally get tough on Pakistan, it was a far cry from the “America First” foreign policy he laid out in the months before election day.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who had been an enthusiastic supporter of Trump during the campaign and penned a book called In Trump we Trust, summed up the weariness of the nationalist right when she tweeted: “It doesn’t matter who you vote for. The military-industrial complex wins.”. . .
Meanwhile, Twitter was going wild, according to Breitbart:
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) August 22, 2017
This sounds like every speech by an American president on Afghanistan since 2001.
— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) August 22, 2017
Trump on Afghanistan: “My instinct was to withdraw” – & then the War Party got to him. From America First to America Last – didn't take long
— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) August 22, 2017
Of course, Breitbart might be expected to be negative, with Steve Bannon’s removal. Breitbart, for instance, said, “With Steve Bannon Gone, Donald Trump Risks Becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger 2.0.”
President Donald Trump’s decision to part ways with Steve Bannon can be understood as an effort to save his presidency after Charlottesville. It may turn out to be the beginning of the end for the Trump administration, the moment Donald Trump became Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But it’s not just Breitbart and Twitter. The Washington Examiner also chimed in.
Trump, whose views on war and foreign policy have been inconsistent over the years, started to form something of a coherent foreign policy over the course of the campaign, the transition, and his first few months in office. Former President George W. Bush’s Iraq war was a mistake, Trump said, because throwing out Saddam Hussein destabilized the region. He made a similar argument about Former President Barack Obama’s regime change in Libya. . .
The fog of war makes it too difficult to say with confidence what America’s best course of action would be in Afghanistan. . . But coming out of Trump’s speech Monday night, we still don’t know what course of action he has planned, and we’re not sure if the military does. The principles Trump articulated seem disconnected from his plan. . .
But coming out of Trump’s speech Monday night, we still don’t know what course of action he has planned, and we’re not sure if the military does. The principles Trump articulated seem disconnected from his plan. . .
Trump and Mattis need a clearer goal, something between let it descend into chaos and stability. Without a clearer, attainable goal, Trump is sending men off to kill and die in a war where victory is unattainable.
The Daily Caller notes, “With Afghanistan Address, Trump Pleased Long-Time Rivals And Upset Allies.”
Shortly after the speech, Sen. [Lindsay] Graham said on Fox News, “I am very pleased with this plan, and I am very proud of my president.”. . .
On the other hand, various conservative writers who have been supportive of Trump’s nationalist agenda were upset by the president’s plan for Afghanistan. Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham tweeted, “Who’s going to pay for it? What is our measure of success? We didn’t win with 100K troops. How will we win with 4,000 more?”. . .
Pat Buchanan, who arguably represented Trump’s agenda decades before the president ran, wrote a column in which he stated: “Trump, however, was elected to end America’s involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars — Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan — he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.”
The Blaze added more voices:
Joe Walsh: “17 days, 17 weeks, 17 months, 17 years…it doesn’t matter how long we’re in Afghanistan. We won’t change a damn thing,” former Illinois GOP Rep. Joe Walsh said. “Get out now.”
Makada: “We’ve been in Afghanistan for 16 years & terrorism has only gotten worse. How many more years? How much more tax money? How many more lives?”
Stephen Molyneux: “250 years of failed Western imperialism in Afghanistan doesn’t mean that 251 won’t turn things totally around!”
Mike Cernovich: “Why did we even have an election?”
And, finally, comedian Jim Gaffigan also offered his thoughts on twitter:
Trump's speech is longer than our war in Afghanistan.
— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) August 22, 2017