HomeArticleIgnore The Words Of US Presidents. Watch Their Actions Instead.

Ignore The Words Of US Presidents. Watch Their Actions Instead.

President Trump has publicly announced that he is planning to withdraw US troops from Syria “like, very soon,” something he has reportedly been saying in private for weeks now.

Predictably, partisan propaganda firms like CNN and the Washington Post have been reacting with horror to these sentiments, calling a US exit from Syria a “win for Russia”, as though Syria is America’s property that it would be signing over to someone else by the cessation of its illegal civilian-slaughtering occupation. The amazingly sycophantic Josh Rogin even went so far as to pen a screed saying that supporters of US interventionism in Syria should use the fact that withdrawal would hurt US oil interests to try and manipulate Trump into keeping troops there.

On the other side of the debate, the conservative anti-interventionists, antiwar leftists and anti-imperialist RT crowd have been cheering about the news, hoping it might mark a turning point in US foreign policy.

Personally I see little to get excited about at this point in either direction, because there has always been a massive gulf between the things this US president says and the things that the administration actually does, especially when it comes to neoconservative agendas. Neocons/liberal interventionists can rest comfortably that their beloved Syrian bloodbaths will continue, and the antiwar crowd should probably stay watchful.

I will be the first to admit that I have been proven wrong about this. Nothing would give me greater joy than to admit that Trump appears to have finally followed through on his years-long advocacy of non-interventionist foreign policy and opposition to globalism and neoconservatism. So far, though, what we have is a US president whose words say one thing and whose actions say something very different. This happens to be equally true of the previous US president as well.

Trump has been advocating non-interventionism for many years, but he recently appointed the most virulent warmongering neocon in Washington to National Security Advisor. Trump has been advocating staying out of Syria for years; instead an occupying force has been maintained there with the stated goal of effecting regime change. Trump has been advocating getting out of Afghanistan for many years; instead the occupation has been indefinitely continued and the troop presence has been increased. Trump has long been advocating detente with Russia; instead he’s been consistently increasing tensions with that nation far beyond anything President Obama would ever have dared, pushing the world into what even the Council on Foreign Relations now admits is a “second cold war”.

For this reason, it’s essential for people to start putting far less emphasis on the words of all US presidents, and far more on the actual behavior of their administrations. It’s very clear at this point that any manner of noises can come out of their mouths, based on what they think people want to hear or perhaps even on what they sincerely believe is best for America, but it has no bearing whatsoever on what will actually happen in real life.

If Democrats had done this during the previous administration, they would have noticed the steady continuation and expansion of all the stupid, endless warfare, Orwellian surveillance policies and soul-crushing neoliberalism of the Bush administration, the exact policies that Obama campaigned against. Instead Obama’s legacy is secured in the minds of many Dems as an administration of peace, harmony and prosperity instead of the natural prelude to the Trump administration that it actually was. If awareness of this discrepancy had been allowed to penetrate the consciousness of mainstream liberals, there could have been some serious changes effected in the Democratic party instead of a third and fourth Dubya term followed by an unfathomably corrupt Clinton campaign and a year and a half of Russia gibberish.

And now every day I see Trump supporters doing the exact same thing, refusing to look at the actual behavior of this administration and citing words and meetings as evidence of progress towards peace. There still remains an unwillingness to look at the extensive list of cold war escalations this administration has advanced or the fact that none of Obama’s wars have been ended or even scaled back, and that Trump is actually killing far more civilians than the previous administration with a drastic increase in air strikes.

Again, nothing would thrill me more than to be proven wrong about this, but so far what we are seeing is very clear proof that the words of any US president can be safely ignored when it comes to policies which interfere with the agendas of US plutocrats, war profiteers and intelligence agencies. When it comes to treating immigrants like garbage or destroying the environment there will likely be little resistance and there will be no deep state inertia, but if a president tries to interfere with the profit margins or geopolitical power grabs of the people who really run America, they’ll quickly find themselves running into a brick wall.

So for that reason I’m very cynical about the prospect of a US withdrawal from Syria, which would of course be a great thing since the US-centralized empire caused the Syrian mess in the first place. Syria doesn’t appear to have grown less strategically significant to the power establishment, though, so even if Trump truly does want to remove US troops he will likely find himself running into brick wall after brick wall in his attempts to do so.

We will either see a removal of US troops from Syria in the near future or we will not. If we do, it will mean that my cynicism here was invalidated, and that things are starting to get interesting. If we don’t, we’re still locked into the same old patterns, and we’re going to have to get a lot more rebellious if we want them changed.

There have been leaks to the press from inside the administration indicating surprise at Trump’s Syria comments, which to me means that either (A) Trump is just making impotent noises with his face hole into the brick wall, or (B) Trump is finally standing up to his handlers and moving away from interventionist foreign policy. Trump supporters will want to believe B, but from what we’ve been seeing so far A is far more likely. Here’s hoping I get to eat a big plate of crow about that in the near future.


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Latest comments

  • The American people are just human shields and hostages along for the ride. The media is largely hated and distrusted in America. They keep having to struggle for ratings, which is why CNN has openly admitted (at least to a hidden camera), that they do the hate-Trump thing just for ratings. The last two Presidential campaigns have been won by candidates who promised a change of policy and to end the wars. Obama campaigned as an antiwar” candidate who promised change and hope against war-hawks Hillary and McCain. America supported Obama in a landslide. Trump campaigned on saying the Iraq war was a mistake and that regime change wars were a mistake and that NATO was a giant waste of money. Trump clobbered the Bush scion and other pro-war candidates in the Republican primaries, then defeated the war-hawk Hillary in the general election. The American people keep trying to say STOP any chance they get. Obama was just an Ivy League con-man who made himself rich by going along with the war-machine when he got to Washington. With Trump, we seemed to see an attempt to actually change things, but the war machine has made it clear that they are in charge. When Bush stole the election from Gore in 2000, it became clear that the American people are no longer in charge of anything in America.

  • You won’t have to eat any tough old crow meat, it’s going to be business as usual. Then they ramp the entire mess up with some insane story on lame stream corp. owned media.

  • Trump caters to the brain dead indoctrinated fools who hang onto his every word like new Scripture from heaven. He doesn’t have to “do” anything to succeed in their eyes – he’s already got them completely bamboozled with his endless bullshit, bravado and bigotry. Trump represents them – and the kind and type of people that they themselves are. In other words, they see themselves in Trump (racist bigots, unaccountable for their own actions), so they do not expect anything from Trump in the form of doing what he says.

    Russian pressure will eject Americans from Syria. Trump will do what he always does, take credit for what he hasn’t done. Idiotic Americans will point to our fearless leader as the take-charge kind of guy that he really isn’t.

    It’s the same story every (s)Election cycle. With the same audience. It’s tiresome as hell.

  • It is a pleasure to read intelligent writing from someone else who recognizes the truth about American imperialism and is skeptical of administration words – not just Trump’s. As for Obama, I have taken a lot of flak over my grade for his term of office, namely ‘F-,’ which I assigned because, in our system, there is no lower grade to assign. He campaigned as a moderate leaning toward progressivism, then proceeded to either break or ignore virtually every campaign promise he made. Even those he did keep, were only out of response to millions of people berating and mailing him. He sponsored the creation of the TTP – corporate directed legislation that contained the power to eliminate the sovereign power of the United States, even if it were to do an about face and become a benevolent nation. He turned a good idea – the ACA – into a mess that protected some previously uninsured people but, due to the windfall profits he created for insurance companies (in part due to excessive premium increases, he made quality health insurance unavailable/unaffordable to the majority. Of course, he promised to have us out of Afghanistan according to a schedule, but would up with an increase in personnel there, despite the many who were either killed or sent home due to permanent injuries and who were replaced like so many disposable pieces.
    I could list 100 other significant shortcomings of Obama. Despite what the orange-haired pathological liars says, I too expect more of the same from the current administration.

  • Good you have doubts, I do too. Syria looks better, we defunded CIA in Syria, we stopped supporting Isis,and then Russians and Iraqis were able to mop it up – good job.

    We rattled sabers scarily, but now N Korea and S Korea are meeting, looks to me problem on way to solution.

    Maybe Bolton is not real, more scary saber rattling, a temporary hire. Maybe the Russian hostility is an agreed upon dance.

    I doubt it and still don’t like Trump, preferring Bernie’s economics and priorities, but I have my doubts about Bernie
    too now.

    I just read Extraterrestrial Presence on Earth, by Judy Carroll. You might like it.

  • As the U.S. leaves Syria ( hopefully ) , it may be that France is preparing to play a bigger role there ( hopefully not :

    “Macron has crossed a line with Turkey”
    On a different topic , this article by Teodrose Fikre / The Ghion Journal makes a similar argument to one often made by Caitlin :

    “Forget Tribalism, Disavow Politics and Stand Up for Inclusive Justice”


  • “impotent noises from his face hole…”

    I love your words and your healthy skepticism. Always challenge authority. Always challenge your own thinking.

    I doubt you’ll be eating crow.

  • It does’t make any sense to me either:
    • DJT announced he’s going to meet with Kim Jong-un in May.
    • DJT bring John Bolton onboard.
    • DJT announced he’s going to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria ”very soon.”
    He gets hit with the usual barrage from the war-making-establishment.
    Did he bring JB onboard to give him cover for actually doing what he said ??
    Is DJT hoping to get the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Korean War (fat chance) ??
    Is this another end-run by the deep state to get the set-up for more war ??
    Stay tuned sports fans.

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