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Wednesday, during Donald Trump's weird cabinet meeting, where he had his own "Game Of Thrones"-style poster of himself on the table and forced everybody to scratch and sniff it in fealty to the king, the president said something that made our head spin. Of course, he always does that, and even for professionals like ourselves, Trump's word salad gibberish often flies right past our heads. But this one comment flew past our head, made a couple rotations around the sun, and then came back and smacked us upside the face. Did he really just say what I thought he ...

Yes. He did.


Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia … the reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you're reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.

At the time, we were like, UM, MISTER DIPSHIT, we think there was a bit more than that, and also WRONG AGAIN, ASSHOLE, but we left it there. But Trump's comment stuck with us and kept bothering us because holy shit, he just justified the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the endless war that came after that, which was basically their Vietnam. That is not a position any serious American takes, because it's not remotely what happened between 1979 to 1989 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

Let's educate the president on what DID happen in the Soviet war on Afghanistan!

A civil war in Afghanistan started in 1978, as David Frum explains, where Communists inside Afghanistan seized power from the current government, which was kinda Soviet-friendly, but not as friendly as the Afghan Communists were. But nobody from any side of that civil war was going into Russia, as Trump inexplicably said. The Soviets invaded in 1979 when the Afghan Communist leadership was falling the fuck apart, and they thought it was going to be a quick git 'er done to prop up the new government that was much friendlier to Soviet interests, but instead they ended up mired in war there for 10 years. Ultimately, they lost, and the Soviet Union did fall apart a few years later. But it wasn't because Afghanistan "made the Soviet Union Russia again," like Trump said. There were a lot of factors that led to the USSR's collapse, and the Afghanistan angle, which Frum explains, and which was depicted quite well on the TV show "The Americans" (which you should watch), was that the grinding, bloody, useless Afghanistan war was part of what made the Soviet people start saying, "You know? Our government is an absolute disaster of a fucking shitshow and we're sick of it." (God willing and the creek don't rise, they'll do it again during our lifetimes.)

Of course, in that war, America was on the side of the Afghan "terrorists," who weren't actually terrorists at the time, but rather simply the mujahideen, who were fighting the Afghan Communists who had seized Kabul. Know who called them "terrorists," though? The Soviet Union. It was the height of the Cold War, and history is funny like that sometimes, when the people we're fighting with, through a series of unfortunate events, become the Taliban that gave shelter to al Qaeda, and thus become the people we're fighting against. Of course, the series of unfortunate events that precipitated all that was the Soviet war on Afghanistan and the vacuum that was left when they -- and the Americans -- left.

Have you seen Charlie Wilson's War? It is a good movie, and if you've seen it, you know what-all happened there.

Charlie Wilson's War (9/9) Movie CLIP - A Toast for the Vanquished (2007) HD www.youtube.com

There are liberal foreign policy views, there are neo-con views, there are pacifist views, there are BOMB BOMB BOMB, BOMB BOMB IRAN! views, and among them you will find nobody saying, "Know what a really good war was? That time the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, because of the TERRORISTS, and it lasted ten years and millions of people died!"

Literally nothing about what Trump said was true. The Soviets were not right to be there. They didn't go because "terrorists were going into Russia." That is some made-up revisionist history pulled right out of Trump's ass. And maybe it's worse than that.

WHO THE FUCK IS TELLING TRUMP THIS SHIT?

On Thursday, we wrote about how Senator Rand Paul is getting closer and closer to Donald Trump, and how over the past couple of years, Paul's foreign policy positions have curiously moved from "quirky, idiosyncratic and non-interventionist to the point of being a FUCKING IDIOT," to a place where he literally seems to be parroting the Kremlin line on just about everything. He whispers in Trump's ear, just like the president of Turkey whispers in Trump's ear and tells him to pull his troops out of Syria, and just like the Russians almost certainly whisper into Trump's ear and tell him ... probably everything, to be honest. And he embraces it all as gospel! Why? A lot of reasons, we imagine, ranging from how Trump has been besotted with Soviet kleptocracy since the 1980s, because they treated him like a king and a very smart person, all the way up to the inescapable conclusion that Trump is probably literally compromised by his BFF Putin, the former KGB agent. Indeed, those with extensive knowledge of Trump's history say it was way back in the 1980s, after a trip to the Soviet Union, that Trump's foreign policy ideas started to go apeshit.

The only entity that believes the Soviets were right to invade Afghanistan and that it was a noble war is Russia. Coincidentally (or probably not!) Russian lawmakers are right now polishing a plan to whitewash the history of that war ahead of the 30-year anniversary of the Soviets cuttin' and runnin' from Afghanistan, in 1989, as Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza explains in the Washington Post. Vladimir Putin believes the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the worst thing to ever happen to mankind, and he wants nothing more than to restore Russia to its former "glory," so it makes sense he would want to advance a shiny new narrative about that war.

But seriously, though, who the fuck told Trump that shit, and why does he believe it? And how odd is it that suddenly Trump is pulling "The Soviet war in Afghanistan was YOOOOGE" out of his filthy orange ass at the very same time Russia is trying to rewrite history on that wrongheaded and humiliating war?

It's deja vu all over again with Donald Trump, our resident scholar of Eurasian geopolitics!

Thursday night, Rachel Maddow had a must-watch segment about how this is not the first time this has happened, by a long shot. In our piece on "Is Rand Paul One Of Trump's Russian Butt Whisperers," we talked about an incident in early 2017, when Montenegro wanted to join NATO. Literally nobody in the world was against Montenegro joining NATO, except for a few folks. Rand Paul had some bug up his ass about it, for which John McCain accused him of literally working for Vladimir Putin. (The eventual Senate vote was 97-2 in favor of Montenegro joining.) Russia was super against it, because Russia is super against anybody joining NATO and making it stronger, but Putin is especially opposed to countries in what he thinks is his sphere of influence joining up with the enemies, AKA the western world.

Trump had some opinions on Montenegro too, surprise, surprise! They were very weird and ill-formed and bad opinions, and we are 100% certain he didn't make them up all by himself. In 2018, over a year after Montenegro joined NATO, Wonkette was forced to write a post called "We Have Always Been At War With ... Montenegro???" after Trump said this to Tucker Carlson:

CARLSON: Membership in NATO obligates the members to defend any other member that's attacked. So let's say Montenegro, which joined last year, is attacked. Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?

TRUMP: I understand what you're saying. I've asked the same question.You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people.

CARLSON: Yeah, I'm not against Montenegro. Or Albania.

TRUMP: By the way, they're very strong people. They're very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you're in World War III.

Those aggressive Montenegrans, always bullying everybody and starting World War III! You betcha! With their population that's about the same as ... Nashville!

Of course, as Wonkette noted then, and as Maddow noted Thursday night, Vladimir Putin in 2016 literally tried to stage a coup to take out (with murder) Montenegro's president, Milo Đukanović, and thus prevent the country from becoming part of NATO. And you know what Trump had just finished doing when he said that shit to Tucker Carlson?

That's right, he met with Putin behind closed doors in Helsinki for two hours without anybody else present, and then they did a press conference where Trump tried to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of Putin's Tootsie Pop RIGHT THERE IN PUBLIC ON CAMERA WHERE KIDS COULD SEE.

Know what Trump did in 2017 at a big NATO meeting, right after Montenegro joined NATO? He literally shoved the prime minister of Montenegro. Maddow noted this in her segment Thursday night, and Wonkette wrote about it when it happened:

We don't know if that was just Trump being a fucking dick (likely) or if he was specifically being a fucking dick to the prime minister (also likely), but regardless, it's weird how Trump just keeps being on the same side as Putin on obscure issues nobody in America is paying much attention to, but that are super-important to Russia. Right? RIGHT?

Maddow told the story of yet another time the Trump administration was bizarrely up Russia's ass, from the very early days of the administration, when Trump was bumblefucking his way through literally every call with a foreign leader, when he couldn't find his ass with both hands. (LOL he still can't. Maybe the military can invent a special AssFinder 3000 for him, as part of its new Trump Space Force.) Maddow points us to an AP story from just a few weeks into the administration, about all the foreign policy fuckery of the new Trump regime, which included this very weird line:

According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence of such activities appears to exist.

As Maddow explained, THIS IS NOT A THING. Poland is not doing fuckall to Belarus! But guess who is the only entity in the world that thinks that is a thing? DING DING DING, you win some day-old borscht that nobody in Russia wants to eat anymore because it's gross now! Indeed, it was a propganda campaign out of the Kremlin to scare Belarus into thinking Poland was about to invade, like a common unhinged Montenegro. Why the fuck were Trump national security aides looking into this?

And again, Who. The Fuck. Is Whispering. This Shit. Into. The President. Of The United States's. DUMB FUCKING EAR?

It's Russia, you idiot. ALLEGEDLY.

Seems like kind of an Occam's Razor situation, doesn't it? Maddow joked on Thursday night that's entirely possible Trump just reads a whole lot of books on this stuff and comes to these Russo-philic conclusions all on his own. GET IT? THE JOKE IS THAT TRUMP IS INCAPABLE OF READING BIG WORDS FOR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS AT A TIME! But we don't think it's that.

Somebody is filling the president's head with this shit. We'd bet five bucks it's a Russian or a whole Matryoshka doll full of Russians, with Vladimir Putin right in the gooey center, which is a safe bet because Jesus Christ the man is so far up Putin's ass he's got day-old borscht in his armpits, but don't worry, it's not the same day-old borscht you won for answering that question above correctly, that would be ICKY.

Click here to watch your Rachel.

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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The pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- heck of a name for these times -- recently announced US sales of a generic version of its HIV prevention drug Truvada would begin a year earlier than originally planned. The stepped-up schedule for the generic was at least in part the result of pressure from activists, who have made a lot of noise about the fact that Gilead's huge revenues from Truvada -- about $3 billion annually -- came only after the basic research for the drug was done at taxpayer expense, largely through grants from the Centers for Disease Control, which holds the patent on the drug.

At a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez let one of the witnesses, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day, know she wasn't personally blaming him or his greed for the high cost of the drug, which prevents the spread of HIV through "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP). No, that's all a result of the terrible incentives that come from the fact that the US, alone among developed countries, treats healthcare as a commodity, not a right for all. Which is why a monthly supply of Truvada costs nearly $1800 here, and roughly eight dollars in Australia.

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