I had hoped to never write again about former President Trump’s disdain for the military but an article by Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg made it necessary. Retiring Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, General Mark Milley told Goldberg this story:
At his welcome ceremony at Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall, across the Potomac River from the capital, Milley gained an early, and disturbing, insight into Trump’s attitude toward soldiers. Milley had chosen a severely wounded Army captain, Luis Avila, to sing “God Bless America.” Avila, who had completed five combat tours, had lost a leg in an IED attack in Afghanistan, and had suffered two heart attacks, two strokes, and brain damage as a result of his injuries. To Milley, and to four-star generals across the Army, Avila and his wife, Claudia, represented the heroism, sacrifice, and dignity of wounded soldiers.
It had rained that day, and the ground was soft; at one point Avila’s wheelchair threatened to topple over. Milley’s wife, Hollyanne, ran to help Avila, as did Vice President Mike Pence. After Avila’s performance, Trump walked over to congratulate him, but then said to Milley, within earshot of several witnesses, “Why do you bring people like that here? No one wants to see that, the wounded.” Never let Avila appear in public again, Trump told Milley.”
Anyone surprised by the flag hugging former president’s hypocrisy? I thought not.
The last time this ugly issue reared its ugly head was in 2020 because of another article by Jeffrey Goldberg, Trump: Americans Who Died In War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers.’
That story of Trump’s reluctance to honor and disdain for our fallen soldiers was related to Goldberg by former White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly. Why has Kelly maintained public silence about this horrible man? I hope General Milley will NOT follow Kelly’s example after his retirement.
In response to Goldberg’s piece, I told the story of the uncle I never knew, Captain William Peter Athas who was killed in action in 1944. The sarcastic title says it all: My Uncle Was A ‘Loser.’
This passage captures my political reaction to Trump’s calumny upon our war dead:
I have a strong feeling of schadenfreude today. During the Bush-Cheney administration, the GOP turned support for our troops into a fetish. The implication was that anyone who opposed the Iraq War was a traitor. What does that make Donald Trump? Just a sucker and a loser or a traitor?”
That was true in September 2020. It’s even truer in 2023 because of the Dipshit Insurrection. On the last day of July, I wrote a post about the breathtaking hypocrisy of the Tuberville Hold: Why Do Republicans Hate The Military? That’s a real question, not a rhetorical one. They traffic in lies, I do not.
Since Tuberville doubled down on his hold on military promotions, I’m doubling down on my condemnation of the Trumpified GOP which talks tough and carries a twig. Their support of the troops is strictly rhetorical. They’ve turned a sensible military abortion policy into a chance to dunk on the armed forces as woke, whatever the hell that means. The hypocrisy, it burns.
The American military has traditionally honored wounded and disabled veterans. Improvements in medicine have saved lives and enabled more seriously wounded vets to survive. We should honor their valor and sacrifice, not defame it just because a disgraced former POTUS doesn’t want to see it. When he said, “no one wants to see that,” he was wrong. I want to see that. It’s a living example of why wars should be rarely fought and never for strictly political reasons. Everything is about politics for the Indicted Impeached Insult Comedian.
The featured image comes from my favorite World War II movie, The Best Years Of Our Lives. This classic 1946 film is about the trials and tribulations of returning veterans, one of whom is Homer Parrish played by Harold Russell who lost both hands during the war. Director William Wyler saw this short film and cast Russell:
America did not mind seeing Harold Russell’s hooks. The movie was a commercial and artistic triumph, winning multiple Oscars including best picture, director, and supporting actor for disabled veteran Harold Russell.
Repeat after me: America did not mind seeing Harold Russell’s hooks. Only squeamish and selfish louts such as the Kaiser of Chaos prefer to look away.
Trump claims to be a tough guy but he’s too cowardly to be around disabled veterans. Past presidents honored them, Trump slanders them. Is this a man who should return as commander-in-chief of our armed forces? That was a rhetorical question. The answer is as obvious as the perpetual sneer on Matt Gaetz’s face.
There’s a Trump-type character in The Best Years Of Our Lives who tells Homer he’s a sucker for fighting, which leads to fisticuffs that get Dana Andrews relieved of his soda jerk duties:
The Best Years Of Our Lives is a realistic film that does not sugarcoat the initial difficulties Homer Parrish’s family had dealing with his disability.
Homer’s family got over it because they loved him and honored his service, Donald Trump only loves himself. Instead of The Best Years Of Our Lives, he gave us some of the worst years of our history.
I don’t use the word cripple to describe those who were disabled in either war or peace. But John Lennon’s Crippled Inside nails the warped mindset of the Donald Trumps of the world: “One thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.”
Repeat after me: America did not mind seeing Harold Russell’s hooks.
The last word goes to John Lennon: