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Foster: Military opposition to Trump grows

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Donald Trump likes to wrap his arms around the American flag and proclaim his patriotism when addressing rallies across the land. But if he’s counting on support from the nation’s military in November, he may be in for a rude awakening.

VoteVets, a military activist organization, released a series of television ads during the July 4th holiday that sharply criticizes Trump for being a Russian pawn. Trump also is attacked for not standing up for U.S. troops who are targeted by Taliban fighters being paid bounties by Russia.

Trump said the intelligence reports were inconclusive and called the charges a hoax as he often does for anything that makes him look bad in the media.

One 65-second ad was particularly harsh, calling Trump America’s No. 1 traitor, replacing Benedict Arnold from the Revolutionary War. Arnold conspired with the British to help them capture West Point, then a military post in New York. After his treason was exposed, Arnold fled to England to live out his life in shame.

The VoteVet said West Point was sullied by Trump, who called back the graduating seniors of 2020 from their pandemic quarantine to deliver an address. That was the location of Trump’s infamous halting walk down a ramp from the speaker’s platform and two-handed drink of water.

Another 30-second ad starts with a video clip of Trump shaking the hand of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Here’s the full text of the ad:

“He shakes his hand. An American dies. They pal around. Another roadside attack. Putin pays bounties to Taliban enemies to kill American soldiers. And not a word from Donald Trump. Intelligence reports on his desk. He says nothing to his Russian master. Takes no action to protect us. Who is the enemy? If you’re going to act like a traitor, you don’t get to thank us for our service.”

Trump likes to think of himself as a brilliant strategist, once claiming that “he knows more than the generals.” That didn’t set too well with veterans. Hundreds of former ranking officers and former Republican government officials have signed a pledge not to support Trump for re-election.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Trump’s father arranged for a doctor who was a tenant in one of his buildings to sign a document claiming that Donald suffered from bone spurs and was unfit for military service. A lot of vets agree he is unfit, but not because of his bogus bones spurs claim. He gets around his many golf courses just fine.

Increasingly, even the generals who have served in his administration are coming to the conclusion that he’s unfit for the office he holds. Marine Gen. James Mattis resigned as secretary of defense in protest of Trump’s order to remove U.S. troops from Syria, thus abandoning the Kurdish fighters who allied with U.S. forces.

Not surprisingly, after Turkey started bombing Kurdish civilian and military positions, U.S. troops were sent back into the contested area.

Another four-star general who couldn’t stomach Trump’s inane and inconsistent policies was John Kelly, the third person to resign as Trump’s chief of staff. So far neither Mattis nor Kelly have penned books critical of the Donald, but the latest broadside against Trump is from former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Bolton came to the office with impeccable conservative credentials, formerly serving as UN ambassador in the George W. Bush administration. He was one of the officials aware of Trump’s attempt to extort the Ukraine president for political dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange of military aid.

Bolton didn’t leave the scene quietly. He wrote a book titled “The Room Where it Happened” that details some of Trump’s follies. The book had to be sanitized to omit materials sensitive to national security. Trump sued to prevent the release, but it quickly became a top seller.

The book I’m really interested in reading is a tell-all by Mary Trump, Donald’s niece and daughter of his late brother Fred Trump Jr.

Robert Trump, Donald’s younger brother, has sued to prevent the book’s publication on grounds that Mary had signed a non-disclosure agreement nearly 20 years ago when the estate of Fred Trump Sr. was being settled.

Apparently, the settlement didn’t go smoothly and, as Trump often requires of his employees, a non-disclosure agreement was part of the deal. Mary won the court battle and her inside look at Trump’s family dealings may be more telling of Donald’s personal traits than what he displays as president.

— John D. Foster is a Carthage resident and regular contributor to the Saturday Forum. Email jandmfoster@yahoo.com .

Today's Bible verse

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

2 Timothy 4:3-4

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