By D. Allan Kerr
Based on Donald Trump’s own criteria, if John McCain questioning the success of a small military operation in Yemen “emboldens the enemy,” then Trump is the Goebbels of ISIS.
McCain, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former POW who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was referring to a recent mission in which a Navy SEAL and several civilians were killed. A $75 million Marine aircraft was lost as well.
McCain stated he was reluctant to describe the operation as a success.
Trump, a millionaire’s son who obtained five deferments to avoid military service during the Vietnam War, responded that McCain “should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media.”
“Only emboldens the enemy!” Trump tweeted.
The obvious response from anyone who’s been paying attention is – You’ve got to be kidding.
To call Trump a hypocrite is an injustice to hypocrisy. This is the raving of someone so mentally unhinged he literally has no idea what he’s talking about – or has said.
Over the past few years Trump has practically thrown in the towel in our ongoing fight against terrorists.
He’s accused Barack Obama of being weak on terrorism, ridiculed the military and intelligence communities charged with fighting terrorists, and undermined relationships with our allies.
He described both Obama and Hillary Clinton as “co-founders of ISIS.”
He’s been a one-man advertising campaign promoting the success of the terrorist organization; Nazi propaganda mastermind Joseph Goebbels could hardly have done better.
What could embolden our enemies more than having this draft-dodging, billion-dollar brat proclaim, “I know how to fight ISIS better than the generals, believe me.”
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer chimed in this week that anyone criticizing the Yemen mission owed an apology to Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL who died.
If that’s the case, then Trump can add the thousands of brave Americans who have died fighting terrorists to the long list of folks to whom he should apologize.
Of course, Trump benefited from promoting the success of ISIS and al-Qaeda when he was running for president. He no doubt figured if people were afraid our country might be overrun by terrorists, they might support his fear-fueled campaign.
But now that Trump is the commander-in-chief of this same fight, any criticism of the way this war is fought – the same criticism he applied so liberally before taking office – is to be considered unpatriotic and maybe downright treasonous.
Just as any media report critical of his administration is to be considered “fake news.”
You see a pattern here?
But as he tends to do, in trying to make his point Trump has clumsily attacked an individual who dwarfs him in character, class and accomplishment – just as he did with U.S. Rep. John Lewis last month. And in doing so, he highlights his own weaknesses.
Trump tweeted this week that John McCain “has been losing so long he doesn’t know how to win anymore.” He ignores the reality that just this past November, McCain won re-election to his sixth term in the U.S. Senate by a double-digit percentage.
But perhaps more importantly, McCain has won the respect and admiration of colleagues in a way Trump never will.
McCain, you see, is revered even by people who disagree with him politically. That’s due not only to the class and dignity with which he carries himself, but also to his service to the country.
You get the sense, from Trump’s words and actions, that he wishes he had been a big war hero. Without, you know, actually going thru the inconvenience of volunteering for military service and engaging in combat.
McCain comes from one of the most famous military families in American history. After his plane was shot down in Vietnam he was clubbed with a rifle butt, bayonetted and held prisoner from 1967 to 1972, including time in the notorious Hanoi Hilton and two years of solitary confinement.
Initially, his fellow cellmates did not believe he would survive wounds including broken limbs from the plane crash.
He was tortured via rope bindings and physical beatings on a regular basis, sometimes daily. His weight plummeted to less than 100 pounds. At one point he tried to commit suicide in his cell.
When his captors realized his father was the commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, McCain was offered his freedom. He refused to be released until other prisoners captured before him were freed first, per the military’s Code of Conduct. He was then subjected to more beatings.
To this day, McCain cannot lift one of his arms over his head or bend his knee as a result of his war wounds.
While McCain was enduring hell in Vietnam, Trump received student deferments and then a medical deferment claiming bone spurs in one or both of his heels. He can’t seem to remember which. In 1969 he was granted a high draft lottery number. In 1971, his daddy named him president of the family business.
Trump, the guy who likes to accuse others of “all talk, no action,” has told reporters he “would have proudly served” if he had been drafted – but apparently he wasn’t proud enough to volunteer. McCain, a Naval Academy graduate, asked to serve in combat.
None of this should imply that McCain cannot be challenged on statements and positions. But suggesting he provides aid and comfort to the enemy is beyond stupidity.
And as always, anything Trump says should be considered in the context of his alternate reality. But at least we can all look forward to the success of his “secret plan” for defeating ISIS, as promised during his campaign.
Unless that was just talk as well.
(February 12, 2017)