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

in trump •  8 months ago

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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Your Cynicism is completely justified. Congratulations on bringing up one of the most important topics, that never seems to resonate in partisan politics.

Judge everything they are doing based on their actions and not constantly on the empty words designed to please the partisan crowds. Making excuses and empty promises is the constant game of keeping people occupied with the news cycle of today and not on real outcomes. The rules are the same...When your 'guy' is in power, we'll just ignore all the atrocities committed in the name of the greater good, and foam at the mouth with irrational fear and over the top nonsense gossip (other guy in power), unless it involves foreign intervention and war mongering based on the National Security doctrine (crowds and media cheering from the rooftops). There is a long and tainted history, of complete reversals of any logical and reasonable policies that may have originally been cheered for in campaigns from die hard partisan supporters and reality.

The Qanon phenomenon is a great example of distracting and using deep state psychological manipulation to convince die hard supporters, that it's 'all going to plan' or 'it's different this time'. It will only ever be different when the actions match the rhetoric and words being thrown around in the public sphere.


Yep, agree with you both. This is what happens when your country is hypnotized by the media/chemtrails/fluoride/pharma...


Yep, agree with you both. This is what happens when your country is hypnotized by the media/chemtrails/fluoride/pharma...

In two sentences you said more than I could in paragraphs, where is trump on those issues? are we just sex pets to him and his friends?

Could not agree more with this text @caitlinjohnstone. But Deep State already has the reins on Trump. He can neigh from time to time, but he must pull the cart where he is told to. It's clearly (A).

I hope that Trump is true to his word on this one, as it is the only reasonable thing to do. in fact, all foreign powers should pull out of Syria.

...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.

How long does it take to build a house, from planning it on paper, to walking in through the front door?

How long does it take to dismantle the banking cartels that owns everything?
....including having lots of the people who are supposed to be working for you, actually working against you.
And dismantle an organization that has had it's systems in place for the last 200years!
( if this Pres is true to his word, it has to lead to this...)

So, considering the time it takes to build _ just a single house_, and the job he is now facing....I don't think just over a a year is actually very long at all..

...just trying to get some perspective.
(and on the proviso he is doing as he said, and not part of the cabal)

Trump is a Dog fuck him 😡 i don't like this man

realDonaldTrump Donald J. Trump tweeted @ 04 Sep 2013 - 02:00 UTC

What I am saying is stay out of Syria.

realDonaldTrump Donald J. Trump tweeted @ 11 Jan 2013 - 18:55 UTC

Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

Will we see Caitlin come out and spew the same war mongering propaganda against Syria and Turkey when they start mass slaughtering the Kurds and those who rose up against Assad in this civil war? Isn't that what this is all about regardless of the imperialist ranking/standing in the world, isn't it always about one group suppressing the other via the war machines regardless of their scoop or magnitude? Or will we hear words from her that it's finally time that those in the middle east who will genocide others are finally able to freely and clearly choose to do so.


The Kurds who "rose up" did so as a close ally of Israel, making the domestic excuses for their sedition more opaque. Add to them the Takfiri rebels, who also enjoyed Israeli patronage, and you have a dissident brew redolent of the mujaheddin, who Zbigniew Brzezinski boasted having sponsored (as a part of an effort to lure the Soviets into a government-destabilizing conflict).


I was moderator on a middle east blog site for awhile, though I didn't know much about the middle east then, I mostly posted other stuff and the page owner just volunteered me all the time, I did make a sincere effort to learn more about the ME and the different countries and fractions, I never came across any articles linking the Kurds up with known association with Israel...so that's interesting to know. I left the site for a couple reasons, one it got to celebratory if there was a bombing somewhere in Europe...I just don't think people should be happy death came to people, especially those who have no control over the "empire(s)" so to speak and secondly because I became overwhelming depressed at the amount of hatred that they have for each other over there...I use to just think they hated westerns for getting involved in their countries but they just plain hate each other also.

My theory on this.Trump really wants to end this mess,why now? I have 2 ideas:

1.He has confirmation that the Clinton investigation is over,and a lot if people will be charged and therefore nobody will stop him doing so.

  1. This is more likely,nobody from the power establishment counted with Turkye.Erdogan looks very determined to destroy the Kurdish militias,which will leave the US with no proxies on the ground and that means the US has to sacrifice its on soldiers,even worse,risk a direct confrontation with the Turks and losing Centcom.

Sadly, what I fear is that US forces will be removed from Syria--forcibly. The tariffs and expulsion of diplomats are prelude to war. The defeat of US supported terrorists in East Ghouta revealed a huge chemical weapons cache that was surely intended to slaughter the innocent civilians of Syria and blame it on Assad.

It's difficult to see the policy of warmongering and terrorism that Trump inherited from the prior administrations (going back at least to Carter, who formed al Qaeda through Brzezinski and Bush 43) not biting us in the ass eventually, and now with peace breaking out across our profit centers...err.. war zones, from Korea to the Middle East, even abandoning completely such policies won't soothe the families who have lost so much to the drones we brutally murdered their weddings and funerals with.

If Korea unifies, then what excuse have we to maintain our massive military on China's doorstep? We are revealed to have wrought havoc from Nigeria to Pakistan, and the peoples there are righteously bent on justice.

There will be no court that delivers them justice.

There will be war.


No deep state profiteer hasn't been dreaming of the wondrous profits to be had by pitting the military forces of the West against the East, and Europe may not even be particularly counted on to ally with us, given the depth and breadth of propaganda and existential trauma they are presently undergoing, both economically and politically.

The teetering global economy is ripe for war. The blood of millions of innocents cries out for it.

I'd far prefer eating crow.

Trump can't.

Great article but your title says it all.
We can't even get close to understanding the entirety of what is going on.
It's a spectacular opera of cunning and chess we are witnessing

Never forget ; Trump is not Napoleon, he cannot do or force to do what he thinks is right
His Deep State mostly is of very different opinion.
Trump is very clever - he is using the power of public opínion he first creates in the Social Networks to force his Deep State to accept what they would never allow without this public force.
As Putin said: Trump is an experienced clever businessman and he is learning politics damned fast
He is very similar to North Korean Kim: Both play with the headlines and shout out loud slogans while building their political ideas in the quiet vaccum behind their media-propaganda.
Trump and (korean) Kim both are of similar type and both work in a similar way - they will have good basics if they ever will meet ...

I think you still have your finger on the pulse. This is the issue of the moment (along with taxing Amazon). Trump has already canceled the CIA’s covert funding of “rebel” groups in Syria. Tillerson allowed the moment of Kurdistan’s statehood to come and go without recognition, thereby denying Israel a nascent non-secular ally in the right-to-exist department; preserving at least the notion of Iraq’s territorial identity, and removing yet another reason for dismembering the still conscious Syria.

That Syria’s standing still as a consequence of the Trump administration vexes all the right people — or should I write all the wrong people. There are reports from Syria that the U.S. is withdrawing. If we have time to mull this over, some respect and appreciation for Russia’s role might be in order. How to present that in a way that’s not threatening to the people Caitlin mentioned in her article is the question.

In terms of second-guessing the future, it might be safe now to conclude that the proxy war strategy has failed this time at least; and that the next step, if there is to be one, involves a full frontal direct assault, a war effort with an order of magnitude larger than W’s, difficult to imagine. Imagining a rapprochement, with praise for Russia’s role when merited; and remorse for ours — from covert funding and support of the mujaheddin in Afghanistan on out — also seems hard to imagine, but worth the effort.

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

Best advice for combating propaganda I've heard so far. As Arthur Schlesinger said, every US president has been an imperial president regardless of political party.