Our draft-dodging president’s pathetic attempts to make the U.S. military enemies of the people reveals just how little the craven bully tweeting from the White House bunker understands about the ideals of honor, duty and service.
Trump got another dose of all three today. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s top military leader apologized for being part of Dear Leader’s Putinesque photo op last week. After a federal goon squad peppered peaceful protestors with rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades to clear Lafayette Square, Trump lumbered to the venerated St. John’s Episcopal Church to hold a Bible upside down and shoot some campaign B-roll.
Dressed in combat fatigues, Milley was among the misguided officials who marched with Trump as he exploited both the military and Scripture while violating the Constitutional rights of Americans every member of the sad parade swore an oath to serve and protect.
“As many of you saw the results of the photograph of me in Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,” Milley said in a prerecorded speech to students at the National Defense University.
“I should not have been there. My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics… As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from.”
Milley also went public with his opposition to deploying federal troops to police civilians, something explicitly prohibited by the Constitution and anathema to the ethos and traditions of our all-volunteer, professional military. He joined former Secretary of Defense Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis and others in finally, forcefully reminding Trump that the military is not the personal plaything of any commander in chief.
Mattis, a retired Marine general venerated in all branches of the military, said he came forward in part because he was so troubled to see Milley march in lockstep with Trump as he played divine-right dictator for the cameras.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis wrote in a scathing shot across Trump’s bow published in The Atlantic.
“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
Mattis’ overdue but worth-the-wait statement cleared the decks for others to sound off. Milley won’t be the last, but don’t expect Trump to get the message. I’m amazed Milley wasn’t fired from a cannon first thing this morning.
Whatever Trump’s next offensive against the military looks like, it will fail because Trump has no clue who he is up against. Our Dear Leader simply can’t grasp the proud history, traditions and selfless dedication of our professional military. They all volunteered, and are willing to sacrifice life and limb in service to the American people. Trump can bark all the illegal, immoral orders he wants. Milley and his brothers in arms just let him know they will not cooperate as he tries to divide the military the way he does the nation.
These generals’ spurs are real and earned. Every American should cheer the sight of them being so forcefully applied to Trump’s ample rump.