Is Trump’s Agenda Be­ing Eclipsed?

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - Pa­trick Buchanan

have not be­come the King’s First Min­is­ter in or­der to pre­side over the liq­ui­da­tion of the Bri­tish Em­pire,” said Win­ston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor’s lun­cheon in Lon­don in Novem­ber 1942.

True to his word, the great man did not be­gin the liq­ui­da­tion.

When his coun­try­men threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Cle­ment At­tlee, who be­gan the liq­ui­da­tion. Churchill, dur­ing his sec­ond premier­ship from 1951-1955, would con­tinue the process, as would his suc­ces­sor, Harold Macmil­lan, un­til the great­est em­pire the world had ever seen had van­ished.

While its demise was in­evitable, the death of the em­pire was has­tened and made more hu­mil­i­at­ing by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Bri­tain, wars that bled and bankrupted his na­tion.

At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old im­pe­ri­al­ist with some­thing ap­proach­ing be­mused con­tempt.

War is the health of the state, but the death of em­pires.

The Ger­man, Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian, Rus­sian and Ot­toman em­pires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Ja­panese and Ital­ian em­pires — with the Bri­tish and French fol­low­ing soon af­ter. The Soviet Em­pire col­lapsed in 1989. Afghanistan de­liv­ered the coup de grace.

Is it now the turn of the Amer­i­cans?

Per­suaded by his gen­er­als — Mat­tis at De­fense, McMasters on the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, Kelly as chief of staff — Pres­i­dent Trump is send­ing some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to aug­ment the 8,500 al­ready there.

Like Pres­i­dents Obama and Bush, he does not in­tend to pre­side over a U.S. de­feat in its long­est war. Nor do his gen­er­als. Yet how can we de­feat the Tal­iban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent?

The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to con­tinue erad­i­cat­ing the ter­ror­ist el­e­ments like ISIS, and to pre­vent Kabul and other cities from fall­ing to a Tal­iban now dom­i­nant in 40 per­cent of the coun­try.

Yet what did t he great gen­eral, whom Trump so ad­mires, Dou­glas MacArthur, say of such a strat­egy?

“War’s very ob­ject is vic­tory, not pro­longed in­de­ci­sion.”

Is not “pro­longed in­de­ci­sion” what the Trump strat­egy prom­ises? Is not “pro­longed in­de­ci­sion” what the war poli­cies of Obama and Bush pro­duced in the last 17 years?

Un­der­stand­ably, Amer­i­cans feel they can­not walk away from this war. For there is the cer­tainty as to what will fol­low when we leave.

When the Bri­tish left Delhi in 1947, mil­lions of for­mer sub­jects died dur­ing the par­ti­tion of the ter­ri­tory into Pak­istan and India and the mu­tual slaugh­ter of Mus­lims and Hin­dus.

When the French de­parted Al­ge­ria in 1962, the “Harkis” they left be­hind paid the price of be­ing loyal to the Mother Coun­try.

When we aban­doned our al­lies in South Viet­nam, the re­sult was mass mur­der in the streets, con­cen­tra­tion camps and hun­dreds of thou­sands of boat peo­ple in the South Chi-

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