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Will War Derail Trump’s Reelection?

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” Yogi Berra reminded us.

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:

If there are IEDs on Trump’s road to reelection, they may be found in the Middle and Near East, land of the forever wars, and North Korea. Not infrequently, foreign policy has proven decisive in presidential years.

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” Yogi Berra reminded us.

But on “The McLaughlin Group,” the TV talk show on which this writer has appeared for four decades, predictions are as mandated as was taking Latin in Jesuit high schools in the 1950s.

Looking to 2020, this writer predicted that Donald Trump’s great domestic challenge would be to keep the economy firing on all cylinders. His great foreign policy challenge? Avoiding war.

When one looks at the numbers — unemployment at or below 4% for two years, an expansion in its 11th year, the stock market regularly hitting all-time highs — Trump enters his reelection year with a fistful of aces. One has to go back half a century to find numbers like these.

Moreover, the opposition shaping up to bring him down seems, to put it charitably, not up to the task.

Joe Biden, 77, with 45 years in electoral politics, has lost more than a step or two and his most memorable Senate vote was in support of George W. Bush’s decision to take us to war in Iraq, the greatest blunder in U.S. diplomatic history.

Biden’s challengers are a cantankerous 78-year-old democratic socialist who just had a heart attack and a 37-year-old mayor of a small town in Indiana who claims that his same-sex marriage is blessed by the Bible.

Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg are white male billionaires who are dumping scores of millions into TV ads to buy the nomination of a party that professes to stand on principle against white male privilege, wealth inequality and the noxious effects of big money in politics.

While Trump is facing an impeachment trial, an acquittal by a Mitch McConnell-run Republican Senate seems a pretty good bet.

And the coming report of U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russiagate probe is expected to find political bias, if not conspiracy, at its root. Trump could emerge from the Mueller Report, Horowitz Report and Durham Report as what his allies claim him to be — the victim of a “deep state” conspiracy to fix the election of 2016.

If there are IEDs on Trump’s road to reelection, they may be found in the Middle and Near East, land of the forever wars, and North Korea.

Not infrequently, foreign policy has proven decisive in presidential years.

The Korean War contributed to Harry Truman’s defeat in the New Hampshire primary and his 1952 decision not to run again. When General Eisenhower, architect of the Normandy invasion, declared, “I shall go to Korea,” his rival Adlai Stevenson was toast.

Lyndon Johnson saw his party shattered and chances vanish with the Tet Offensive of 1968, Eugene McCarthy’s moral victory in New Hampshire, and antiwar candidate Bobby Kennedy’s entry into the race.

Jimmy Carter’s feckless response to the seizure of U.S. hostages in Iran consumed the last year of his presidency and contributed to his rout by Ronald Reagan.

The critical foreign theaters where Trump could face problems with his presidential re-election include Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

As of Dec. 30, Kim Jong Un’s “Christmas gift” to Trump had not been delivered. Yet it is unlikely Kim will let many weeks pass without making good on his warnings and threats. And though difficult to believe he would start a war, it is also difficult to see how he continues to tolerate sanctions for another year without upgrading and rattling his nuclear arsenal.

Trump is eager to make good on his promises and remove many of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan before Election Day. Yet such a move is not without risks. Given the strength of the Taliban, the casualties they are able to inflict, the inability of the Afghan army to hold territory, and the constant atrocities in the capital city of Kabul, a Saigon ’75 end to the Afghan war is not outside the realm of the possible.

Nor is a shooting war with Iran that rivets the nation’s attention.

Yesterday, U.S. F-15s, in five attacks, hit munitions depots and a command center of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Syria and Iraq, a retaliatory raid for a rocket attack on a U.S. training camp that killed an American contractor and wounded four U.S. soldiers.

“For those who ask about the response,” warns a Kataib Hezbollah spokesman, “it will be the size of our faith.” One has to expect Iran and its militia in Iraq to respond in kind.

They have a track record. During 2019, with its economy choked by U.S. sanctions, Iran and its allies sabotaged oil tankers in the Gulf, shot down a $130 million U.S. Predator drone, and shut down with missiles and drones half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

In former times, a confrontation or shooting war often benefitted the incumbent, as there was almost always a rallying to the flag. Those days are gone. This generation has had its fill of wars.


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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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FunkyB
FunkyB
December 31, 2019

I like Pat Buchanan most of the time but here he leaves out a few things. First he does as the mainstream media has been doing and leaves out Tulsi Gabbard as a choice in 2020. But even worse, he goes with the unproven mainstream media narrative that it was Iran behind the attacks on the Saudi oil infrastructure. Come on Pat, you should know better.

For what it's worth.....
For what it's worth.....
Reply to  FunkyB
January 1, 2020

He said ‘and its allies’.

oldandjaded
Reply to  FunkyB
January 2, 2020

be careful what you wish for…

BobValdez
BobValdez
January 1, 2020

What a crock of shit, typical of Buchanan. Pro-dump, anti-Iran and blinded by BS “statistics” that the economy is “booming”, unemployment is under 2 figures and the stock market is at an “all-time high”. The only thing “high” about the NYSM is the crack they are smoking, trying to prop up the ever increasing collapse heading their way.

Brokenspine66
Reply to  BobValdez
January 1, 2020

What you expect? Voodoo Economics and Voodoo Statistics like usually.

Brokenspine66
January 1, 2020

I wouldn’t be very surprised if the Pentagon, MIC and Deep-State……ignite a War just to foil Trumps reelection…because the Democrats failed big time again to get rid of Trump and they will fail in the election with their BS approach.

BobValdez
BobValdez
Reply to  Brokenspine66
January 1, 2020

Be VERY careful what you wish for. If the dump DOESN’T get re-elected, it will be war directed by the hapless dumb-ocrats. Not sure which one could possibly be worse.

Brokenspine66
Reply to  BobValdez
January 1, 2020

In the rotten corrupt [fake]democrazy americunt cesspoole will be always just a choice between pest cholera or worse and to destract the world they will spread their ‘War Of Terror’ + ‘Economic/Financial-Terrorism’ further around the globe.

Dee Cee
January 1, 2020

Reading this article gave me exasperation. I really expected more from Pat Buchanan than that. “Predator drone” was in Iranian air space. “Saudi Oil” was shut down in missile attacks from YEMEN, in an offensive attack following years of severe, illegal, and morally destitute war by Saudi in that country. Iran sabotaging oil tankers??? There was NEVER any actual evidence that it was Iran in the first place. Just John Brennan’s wild insistence and the British MI6 “corroborating” the claim. It’s amazing to me how everything that happens in the Middle East is Iran. For a country that has literally… Read more »

oldandjaded
Reply to  Dee Cee
January 2, 2020

It almost seems like Buchanan backs the same narrative he’s “outing” here…nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Bennie Campbell
Bennie Campbell
January 3, 2020

I’m a President Trump supporter. However, if we go to war with IRAN, I will not vote for the President in 2020. I would just sit-out the 2020 election, because a Democrat could never get my vote. Staying out of these foregein war’s & illegal immigration are two of my main concerns.

bluedog
bluedog
January 4, 2020

Sorry but this reeks of propaganda Trump has failed to even keep one of his campaign promises,we are still in Afghanistan, still in Syria,he’s sent thousands to the Mid-East and I’m sure they are not going there for a get together nor a picnic, as he strokes another war in the Mid-East. The actual rate of unemployment is 20% with 25% living in poverty ,the infrastructure is rotting and crumbling and anyone with a half a brain knows what’s driving wall street, Fed money and stock buy backs and 401K money which the workers will loose anyway when the market… Read more »

Mick Churishin
Mick Churishin
January 6, 2020

Pat Buchanan is an octogenarian (born in year 1938). I admire his up-to-dateness and him having his finger-on-the-pluse, but unfortunately he is still ahead of the fullness of time where he says: “In former times, a confrontation or shooting war often benefitted the incumbent, as there was almost always a rallying to the flag. Those days are gone. This generation has had its fill of wars.”

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