Well, if collective punishment for Palestinians, and Muslims generally, is acceptable, why not for pro-Trump Americans?
American should surely keep praising U.S. Marines and soldiers for defending the Republic, even if they are risking their lives in unnecessary wars their presidents never intend to win. It is, however, long past time to begin damning — and perhaps god-damning — almost every general officer who wears a uniform or pontificates as a retired military expert in the media. All media outlets have these retirees and they are all treated with effusive praise as if they were honest, able, and winning generals, like America’s great 18th- and 19th-century generals Washington, Greene, Jackson, Scott, Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Lee, Longstreet, and Johnston. All of these men obeyed civilian leaders who ordered them to win wars, and they fought to win and did whatever it took to do so. Most, too, had the honor and humanity to be either fair-minded and non-vindictive winners or gentlemanly and reconciliation-seeking losers.
Well, the usual gang of foreign policy geniuses is now on hand and hysterically warning of approaching doom. Max Boot, Andrea Mitchell, General Michael Hayden, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Steve Clemons, Jeffrey Goldberg, Lindsey Graham, John Podhoretz, Hillary Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, every Israel-First pundit (NB: Which is pretty much all of them), and dozens of other prominent and all-knowing figures have damned Donald Trump’s foreign policy ideas as a plan to destroy America by putting America’s interests first.
For twenty years now I have been arguing the obvious: namely, that as early as 1997, the Islamist problem was too big and too lethal for any U.S. intelligence service or law-enforcement agency to defeat. At that time, I suggested to my superiors at CIA that we either get permission to kill Osama bin Laden immediately — and thereby probably shatter or at least drastically weaken a still-developing al-Qaeda — or inform the president that he was facing a quickly growing Islamist enemy that would soon not only would require conventional forces to eradicate, but could not be defeated by any other force or combination of forces. I also said that to believe that the Islamist movement was either limited in its capacity to grow in numbers and spread geographically or was unrelated to the faith of Islam could not be substantiated by fact or logic, and that to tell the American people that was so would be a knowing, and its own right, a lethal lie. This, I hasten to add, took no brilliance to see. It was clear as day in 1997; it is — I think — just as clear today.
General Michael Hayden is a man I respect and admire, but one with whom I disagree on several issues. Some are ephemera, but two that do matter are defending and abiding by the Constitution and answering the question “Why does America wage war?” In a recent television interview with Bill Maher, General Hayden words were described as follows by the New York Times:
The disloyal Israel-First/Neoconservative (IF/NC) crowd seems to be having a collective and hopefully fatal seizure over Mr. Trump’s pledge to be strictly even-handed and neutral in the ongoing war between Israel and the Arabs — a war both sides clearly intend to fight to the death.
President Obama’s unilateral and so illegal decision to restart his and Mrs. Clinton’s personal and Africa-ruining war in Libya is a good reminder of what America lost with the death of Justice Scalia. Whether or not you agreed with Justice Scalia’s decisions, you could at least be confident that he was one of the three justices on the Supreme Court — the others being Justice Alito and Justice Thomas — who knew what and why the Founders put what they did in the Constitution, and that they intended its clear language to be interpreted in a manner that did not read into the text things that are not there and that are meant to contribute to the building of a tyrannical national government.
There is no denying that the past few weeks of events at home and overseas have been mighty interesting. None of them, however, seem to bode well for the United States.
Readers of this space will recall my criticisms of senior U.S. general officers who:
I believe this is the first time I have added an addendum to an already-published article. But the National Review’s decision to devote an entire issue to attacking Mr. Trump underscores the point I was striving to make in my original article. That point was that the Republican establishment has nothing whatsoever to do with conservatism and is fully owned and operated by three groups of people: Interventionists, Neoconservatives, and Israel-Firsters. (NB: These three terms may well be synonyms.)