Paul Rogers: Trump’s dangerous State of the Union address

In this trenchant analysis, Professor Paul Rogers, who has been cataloguing the manifest failures of the “war on terror” since its inception, demonstrates how President Trump appears determined to continue this folly.

[George W. Bush] crafted not a new American century leading to a more peaceful world, but a wasteland: sixteen years of war, hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, millions of refugees fleeing their homes and livelihoods, states such as Afghanistan, Iraq and especially Libya wrecked, and expanding insurgency and insecurity across a vast swathe of territory. (Paul Rogers)

President Donald J. Trump appears utterly blind to this 16-year debacle. In a State of the Union address replete with blatant falsehoods, he references seemingly all that was hostile and misdirected in his republican predecessor’s rhetoric:

  • Pre-emptive and unilateral use of force is highlighted;
  • Guantánamo Bay — the veritable symbol of extra-legal methods — is to be kept open indefinitely; and
  • Failed and counterproductive military approaches in Afghanistan and elsewhere — indeed in every conflict theatre — are augmented.

This worldview has not worked since Bush’s address, and it won’t work in the future…. Trump’s signal in 2018 is that nothing has been learned since 2002. (Paul Rogers)


For the full article, click: A speech too far: Trump’s delusion (Paul Rogers,, 1 February 2018).

Photo credit: Wikimedia

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6 Responses to “Paul Rogers: Trump’s dangerous State of the Union address”

  1. Howard A. DoughtyFebruary 3, 2018 at 11:35 am #

    I concur with what I take to be PJ Robertson’s sentiments, but I would express them differently. It may not so much be that nothing was learned “SINCE” Vietnam, but that nothing was learned “FROM” Vietnam.

    Even that, however, might be wrong. It would, after all, imply that the authorities (the far-famed “military-industrial complex” and its allies in government) were actually interested in “winning” (against so-called communist aggression, terrorism and so on). But what if “winning” decisive victories, making the world “safe for democracy,” and bringing peace and prosperity to the “third world,” etc. was never the goal?

    What if, instead, the strategy was to maintain a state of perpetual war and thus to ensure endless power and profits for the national security state and its friends in the arms industries?

    If THAT was the goal, then success could hardly have been greater!

    I am therefore reminded of a two-volume or three-volume history of Dutch colonialism in what’s now called Indonesia (I have misplaced the reference and can only say that I recall its being published in the late 1890s. In any case, it’s closing statement (looking both backward and forward) might fit our times as well or better than its own:

    “Everything forgotten, nothing learned.”

    • PJ RobertsonFebruary 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm #

      Fine distinction, thank you. I’ll go with it.

    • Barbara BambigerFebruary 5, 2018 at 2:16 am #

      Yes, perhaps the goal was/is not winning but maintaining a state of perpetual war. One must be forever vigilant not to buy into the standard explanations, reports, & rationalizations. How long has Chomsky been trying to tell us this?

      As to learning since or from Viet Nam, it goes back a lot further than that! Think Korea or Guatemala in the 50’s or all the way back to TR’s violence on behalf of the “poor Cubans’ which involved grabbing Puerto Rico, the Philippines, etc. (Never could figure out how invading & occupying the Philippines helped the “poor Cubans”.)

      Thank you Ceasefire for providing this format for exchanging ideas. The comments are almost always interesting & made with dignity & respect for the opinions of others.

  2. Richard BernierFebruary 3, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    The deadly union of stupidity , greed and an insane addiction to power. The result can only be massive loss of lives and the destruction of the environment and social values that we desperately need to change course before we hit the final wall. This world needs bridges , not walls and prisons.

  3. PJ RobertsonFebruary 2, 2018 at 9:58 pm #

    Staggering ignorance and arrogance. Nothing learned, in fact, since Vietnam.

  4. JoanFebruary 2, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

    Fully agree. This is an evil empire that knows nothing but violence.