Trump vs Military

Yesterday, The Atlantic magazine published an article about Donald Trump’s denigration of the military.  The information in the article appears to be corroborated by numerous reliable sources, and if true, should convince every service member, active and retired, to vote for Joe Biden.  Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has written an excellent analysis of that article and Trump’s ongoing attitude toward the military.  Please take a minute to read both this, and the article in The Atlantic.


Republicans never flinch in their support of Trump — even when he insults our troops

Opinion by 

Jennifer-RubinJennifer Rubin

Columnist

September 4, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. EDT

More than five years ago, then-candidate Donald Trump rejected the assertion that John McCain, who refused to take an early release and remained with his fellow POWs despite torture, was a hero. “He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” At this point, the failure of the GOP to disown Trump signaled that Republicans would accept anything that came out of his mouth. Since then, with very few exceptions, elected Republicans have stood shoulder to shoulder with a president who utters one lie after another, spews racist bile, demeans women, dehumanizes immigrants and venerates dictators.

The Atlantic magazine article that came out on Thursday seems entirely in character for Trump:

Trump rejected the idea of the visit [to a World War I cemetery in France in 2018] because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

When McCain died, Trump reiterated his contempt for POWs when he declared “according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, ‘We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,’” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. ‘What the f— are we doing that for? Guy was a f—ing loser.’ ”

When preparing for a military parade, the magazine reports, “Trump asked his staff not to include wounded veterans, on grounds that spectators would feel uncomfortable in the presence of amputees. ‘Nobody wants to see that,’ he said.”

The White House adamantly denies all these comments, as you would expect. Keep in mind, the Atlantic reports, Trump was previously caught lying when he said that “he has received the bodies of slain service members ‘many, many’ times” (just four times, in fact) and “falsely claimed that he had called ‘virtually all’ of the families of service members who had died during his term” (the families of fallen soldiers say otherwise). Interestingly, the “don’t believe your lying eyes and ears” tactic was on full display Thursday when, on an unrelated matter, Trump falsely denied having told North Carolinians to vote twice, which is illegal and prompted state officials to rebuke him and remind voters they only get one vote.

After the Atlantic article was published, the Associated Press reported that “senior defense official” plus “a second source, specifically a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer with knowledge of President Trump’s comments,” confirmed many parts of the story. The Post also reported, “A former senior administration official confirmed to The Washington Post that the president frequently made disparaging comments about veterans and soldiers missing in action, referring to them at times as ‘losers.’”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden responded to the Atlantic report in a written statement. “If the revelations in today’s Atlantic article are true, then they are yet another marker of how deeply President Trump and I disagree about the role of the President of the United States,” he said. “I have long said that, as a nation, we have many obligations, but we only have one truly sacred obligation — to prepare and equip those we send into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families, both while they are deployed and after they return home.” Biden pointedly mentioned that he was not squeamish about meeting with wounded men and women. “We’ve hosted wounded veterans in our home to share a Thanksgiving meal,” he said. “And, as the proud parents of a son who served in Iraq, we’ve made supporting military spouses, caregivers, and children a focus of our service.” In short, Biden made clear that unlike Trump, “if I have the honor of serving as the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know that I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always.” It was an effective way to show the we need not continue to suffer with a small, petty and untrustworthy president.

I do not much care what trait — envy, materialism, cowardice — explains Trump’s apparent disdain for military heroes who, unlike Trump (who got out of serving in Vietnam with five deferments), sacrificed their bodies and in many cases their lives for their country. What we know is that Trump’s character is deeply deformed, and his narcissism knows no bounds. This report is anything but shocking. However, we are reminded about something equally, if not more, disturbing than the outbursts of an unfit president.

Why did the senior officials — who still refuse to go on record — not quit and tell their stories? Why did they not come forward with their accounts even during impeachment, when the president’s lack of loyalty to the country and betrayal of national security were at issue? We can only guess that the explanation is some mixture of cowardly careerism or, maybe, self-delusion that without them the country would be (more) endangered. Instead, they stayed, enabled him, defended him and kept critical information from their fellow Americans.

The silence of these senior aides is really no different from the silence of virtually all elected Republicans. They, along with intellectually corrupt right-wing pundits and media outlets, have denied, deflected, ignored or excused almost everything that has come out of Trump’s mouth. The so-called Republican hawks — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — have stuck with him through thick and thin. They did not condemn him when he first slandered POWs, nor excoriate him for refusing to address the poisoning of yet another political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They have not denounced his unwillingness to raise with Putin the Russian bounties on our troops. They did not disown him for commuting the sentences of war criminals; they did not rebuke him for slandering troops by accusing them of stealing money in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems there is no insult, lie or exaggeration about our troops too great to prompt these Republicans to declare Trump unfit to serve as commander in chief.

One legacy of the Trump era is to discredit virtually all elected Republicans and the sycophantic right-wing media figures whose silence (or even worse, their cheerleading) has made them complicit in Trump’s defilement of his office and weakening of the United States’ image around the globe. They put party and personal careerism above country, and in doing so earn the contempt of their compatriots.

48 thoughts on “Trump vs Military

  1. if the Atlantic was so proud of their journalistic integrity why not name the sources? the people have the right to know and I would think that anyone blogging about the story would not want her credibility compromised by disemenating such articles, but partisonship and bad mouthing the president every single day are vastly more important than your reputation as a credible blogger. You might as well make your snarky snippets anonymous too for they are just as factual, just as accurate as the sources you site in support of such dribble. Well, at least the good people posts are true and that’s all that’s worth reading anymore from this blog which has become a land of ridiculous bitter unhinged emotionalism. I’ll check in after the election to witness the meltdown, the encumbant has a history of winning his second term even though these are unusual times. I don’t like it either but at least I’m being real about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is for the safety of those who had the courage to speak the truth, Scott. You already know that, though. Trump is a cruel and vindictive ‘man’ and I would put nothing, no not even murder, past him.

      I will tell you, one more time, that when I say something as a fact, it has been well-researched and confirmed. I don’t take what I do lightly. You can disagree with my opinions, but DO NOT question my integrity! I work damn hard at trying to be honest and reliable in what I write, and I don’t appreciate your baited remarks, your denigration, and your personal attacks. If you’ve got something to say, say it … otherwise knock it off!!! I’m going through 9 kinds of hell right now and I don’t need your snide little remarks.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Snarky Snippets Sunday! | Filosofa's Word

  3. Jill, Jennifer Rubin is a well-respected reporter. Her columns have veracity. Five added comments that add seasoning:

    – The moderator when Trump said McCain was not a hero, knew Trump screwed up and gave him a chance to amend his remarks. Trump stuck with his comment. So, not only did he say. He thought about and stayed with it.
    – Trump denigrated a Gold Star family who had the temerity to criticize Trump for not knowing the Constitution.
    – Trump threw his intelligence people under the bus to side with Putin in Helsinki. It should be noted a Republican led Senate Intelligence Committee just confirmed that Putin was lying, the Mueller report was correct and Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort had ongoing contact with a Russian spy.
    – Trump supported the hiding of 75 or so military force who sustained concussions or worse when Iran bombed close by as pay back for the US assassinating a general.
    – We still do not have a satisfactory answer on Putin (the one who is confirmed to have lied) setting a bounty on US soldiers with the Taliban – the story focused on whether Trump was briefed, but I want to hear a president who stands up for our military.

    My question is why just is unfavorability rating only twelve points higher than his favorability rating by the military? Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • PS – David Brooks noted on PBS Newshour, the author of the initial report is highly credible. Plus, four other news organizations, including Fox News, confirmed the president called military MIA and KIA “losers and suckers.” One other note is the silence of the Republican legislators who do not know what to say other than the condemning these actions.

      Liked by 2 people

    • All good points. That last one, about the story of Putin paying a bounty to Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers … where did that story go? It was never resolved to anyone’s satisfaction, but it mysteriously disappeared after Trump basically disavowed it. Like you, I want to know if it is true, and if so I expect Trump to speak strongly against Putin. And more recently is the story of Aleksei Novichok who, it has been proven, was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent, and all signs point to Putin being behind it. Yet, Trump refuses to acknowledge that his body Vlad might have something to do with it.

      As for the military approval rating of Trump … I suspect the unfavourability rating will go up significantly after the report in The Atlantic.

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      • Jill, let’s hope so. To me, it is obvious there is a relationship between Trump and Putin. Is it more one sided with Putin having a hold on Trump or is it where Trump has invited him in to help. Or, it could be a little of both. Either way, it is a national security risk. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  4. UnAmerican, unfit, and unqualified. Joe Biden had a wonderful rebuke of him today Jill. You know, I had a really devious thought. What if, during the debates, Joe goes over to Trump and slaps him across the face? My God, what’s wrong with me?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I read Biden’s rebuke and thought it was perfect! His son, Beau, of course served in the military for many years, so of course this strikes a nerve with him, since Beau died a few short years back. Your ‘devious thought’ made me chuckle! I would LOVE to see this, but the reality is that Biden would probably be gunned down by the Secret Service if he even tried such a thing. Nothing wrong with you … or me … it’s the rest of the world! We are perfectly sane! 🤪

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hair today, gone tomorrow. Hopefully, Trump will be gone soon too.

    As a follicly-challenged old man (at least where hair is supposed to grow on my head), here’s a perspective in sharp contrast to Trump’s:

    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. But Fuzzy Wuzzy didn’t care, cuz Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.

    Liked by 1 person

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