Trump Pulls Troops, Government Shuts Down Over Wall

USA News Roundup 23/12/2018


Whoever is directing this season of U.S. politics really needs to work on their pacing. After a few slow weeks in a row, this year is coming to an exciting end. Trump insists on a wall, actually brings home troops, and finally gets his military parade… right out of his administration. This is the last week in review.

Government Shutdown

Last week I mentioned what a government shutdown may entail, though I thought Trump would back down and sign a bill that didn’t include wall funding. He likely would have had that opportunity, if it weren’t for his insistence to Congressional leadership that wall funding be included. Paul Ryan’s House did pass such a bill, but the Senate couldn’t muster the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster. As usual, both sides are to blame to some extent for the shutdown, because both sides realized that this was the last chance for Republicans to get any border wall funding before 2020 since Democrats will be taking the House for the next two years. It seems as though Trump can do nothing to get Democrats on his side for this issue, as even his pulling troops from the Middle East was seen by the establishment left as treason of the highest accord. The shutdown will last until at least Thursday, according to Mitch McConnell, who will not return his chamber to business until then. McConnell will have to spend the Christmas break with everyone’s favorite senior Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, if he wants a deal by then. Otherwise the shutdown, and furloughed paychecks, will continue through the new year.

Trump, The Non-Interventionist!

Okay, maybe not. But, the president took significant steps towards the America First foreign policy he ran on by announcing he will be removing the 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. The president declared victory over ISIS in the announcement, and he may have a point. ISIS has been significantly weakened in the last two years, though likely not entirely because of NATO forces. Russia and Syrian regime forces have been fighting more on the front lines, and critics argue that this will bolster their efforts by removing any U.S. bolstering of rebel efforts, possibly restructuring the effort as bilateral between regime forces and ISIS, a fight the regime would easily win with their Russian allies. Nevertheless, the president has made his decision, finally. We’ve known for some time that his initial tendencies were to get U.S. forces out of the Middle East, but his administration filled with military experts have pressured him into keeping up our efforts. While they may have points about tactical retreats, any honest peace-lover should applaud this decision from Trump.

Trump’s administration has seen a military parade through its ranks, the most recent of which is the highly respected now-former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Mattis, a four-star general who led the US Central Command, left a passionate resignation letter in his wake. He says the president has “the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose view are better aligned” with him, while attacking the president’s treatment of the nation’s allies. No doubt Mattis also wanted to stay in Syria longer, and with rumors of a retreat from Afghanistan also in the president’s mind, it’s safe to assume Trump’s lack of diplomacy isn’t Mattis’ only problem with the president. Well wishes to Mad Dog, but hopefully his departure can clear the way for a more peaceful foreign policy.


An effort to crowdsource the wall on the southern border went viral, with a GoFundMe campaign getting over $15 million in under a week. While some laud this as an example of voluntaryism working, it is not a very practical effort. That $15 million is just 1.5% of the $1 billion goal for the online campaign, and only 0.26% of the proposed $5.7 billion that the House of Representatives included in their spending bill. The organizer of the campaign, Brian Kolfage, pointed out that if everyone who voted for Trump gave $80, they’d hit the $5 billion goal that the president wants to see. Let it that I did not vote for Trump. It has currently raised the second-highest amount the platform has seen, behind the #MeToo legal fund “Time’s Up.”

You can read more from Ian Scar on Think Liberty here.


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