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Thu Nov 21, 2019, 07:58 PM

Trump's Pardons of Soldiers Shows How Little He Knows About War

This past Friday President Trump signed pardons for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, and signed an order directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher to the grade of Chief Petty Officer. The White House press release announcing the decisions in these cases concludes with a quote from Trump, “when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.” In the face of battlefield misconduct, however, the final statement from the White House is a perplexing one and begs the question: from where do we draw our confidence to fight?

Pete Hegseth, the Iraq war veteran and conservative Fox & Friends commentator, has said the president believes, “The benefit of the doubt should go to the guys pulling the trigger.” Fair enough, war is complicated, a realm where the toughest decisions don’t appear in black or white but in confusing shades of gray. However, in these cases the issues are, for once, very clear. Lorance was found guilty of murder and Golsteyn has confessed to murder—twice. With regards to Gallagher—who posed for a photo over the body of an executed ISIS prisoner and texted it to a friend with the caption: “Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife”—Trump is trying to strike the pose of being sympathetic to the warfighter while simultaneously undermining Navy commanders—the very warfighters he allegedly supports—who have petitioned both to demote Gallagher and to strip him of his SEAL qualification in order to maintain good order and discipline within Naval Special Warfare.

The confidence to fight doesn’t come from laxity but rather from discipline. When unit discipline breaks down—when lieutenants start shooting unarmed civilians (in the case of Lorance), when special operators take matters into their own hands and begin executing prisoners (the case of Golsteyn, and, I would contend, Gallagher)—the confidence to fight evaporates. In fact, you aren’t fighting anymore. You’re doing something altogether different: you’re killing.

Clearly, Trump doesn’t understand this difference. This past October, he took to Twitter to discuss Golsteyn’s case, writing, “We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” Is that really how Trump views the U.S. military? As a collection of “killing machines”? When I returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, I was often asked by well-meaning people whether or not “I had to kill anyone over there.” My response evolved to: “If I did, you paid me to.” Which was more often than not met by confusion as opposed to the intuitive understanding that it was American tax dollars that had sent me to war, and thus American citizens who shared in the complicity of whatever killing I had done.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/president-trump-s-pardons-of-soldiers-shows-how-little-he-knows-about-war/ar-BBWWSaT?ocid=msn360

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Reply Trump's Pardons of Soldiers Shows How Little He Knows About War (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 21 OP
RainCaster Nov 21 #1
Skittles Nov 21 #2
braddy Nov 21 #3
IggleDuer Nov 21 #4
keithbvadu2 Nov 21 #5
Haggis for Breakfast Nov 21 #6

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:07 PM

1. I agree

Cadet BoneSpurs is clueless.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:07 PM

2. Trump is a fucking disgrace

I will NEVER understand how any service member or veteran could support this pussy grabbing chicken hawk con man

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:26 PM

3. This is very troubling stuff.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:55 PM

4. Or how little he knows about discipline.

N/T

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 09:13 PM

5. In the long run, Trump will be gone and it will be: 'America condones war crimes'.

In the long run, Trump will be gone and it will be: 'America condones war crimes'.

Whenever America brings up enemy war crimes, they will have a ready-made response.

Donald has given them a strong propaganda tool.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 09:30 PM

6. Loved your post, Mama.

To trumpie, soldiers are symbols of America's strength. Like George Carlin, I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.

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