Trump and the Big Muddy – Afghanistan

Pete Seeger wrote a song “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” in 1967 that became closely associated with President Johnson and the Vietnam War. Does Trump remember it? Maybe Afghanistan will bring it to his mind?

It included a series of refrains:

“We were — knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.


We were — waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.


We were — neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.


Soldiers in Vietnam crossing a river chest deep.

Now we have Trump who received five exemptions from the Vietnam War draft caving in to the military to continue our longest war in Afghanistan. Now stretching out over sixteen years. 1 Here is Trump, who just a few years ago urged a total pullout and applauded Obama’s decisions to put a deadline on the involvement, using bellicose rhetoric. But there is no strategy in sight for a useful outcome. Instead he is committing us to an open ended involvement. Trump, who has undermined the State Department, failed to appoint people who might lead a political front to bring about some useful end to our involvement, talked about victory.

This war now seems likely to drag on fruitlessly for even more years. It is quite likely that shortly we will have sons and daughters of soldiers who fought at the beginning turning up on the battlefield there. To what end? Where are our interests in this excepting that the military likes a war and Presidents love them too?


  1. Our domestic war on drugs of course exceeds by far at 45 years without achieving its proclaimed objectives, yet incarcerating hundreds of thousands for other objectives.