Dopes and Babies

I know I like to say that I have no interest in commenting on things unless I have something new that I think I can add, which is why, with so many people now finally admitting what we have backed ourselves into by allowing the Republican party to become more and more criminal, that isn't much these days.  Well, there certainly have been a lot of people writing about the new revelations regarding Donald Trump's "dopes and babies" tantrum, that you'd think that the book excerpts containing this sickening episode would be pretty much milked dry, but as usual, Green Eagle still has a few more things to spout off about.

The first one is a comment that has been noticed, but which has not received anywhere near enough attention.  Maybe it's because as I write this, I am living and working only a couple of miles from Pearl Harbor, but this really struck me:

"Trump seemed to know next to nothing about the events of Dec. 7, 1941 when he visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii for a private tour of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial alongside his former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.

"Hey, John, what's this all about?" Trump reportedly asked Kelly. "What's this a tour of?"

I cannot find words to describe how grotesque this is. The world's greatest genius, the man who knows more about war than the generals, the man who knows more about everything than anyone, a 72 year old man whose childhood was spent in the shadow of World War II, and he doesn't know what happened at Pearl Harbor?  This is a specimen of virtually unbelievable ignorance and stupidity.  I would not have believed that you could find a single person in his age cohort (which happens to be mine too) that didn't know that.  This fact alone should have been enough to activate the 25th amendment provision for removing a President who is clearly mentally incapable of doing any job, let alone being President of the United States.  But it was covered up, and just ignored, because he signed those tax thefts and appointed those corrupt judges, so who cared?
This is the guy we are talking about, who scared his generals into whimpering obesiance.

Now, on to his infantile tirade against his generals.  And by the way, I have no interest in defending them; they are people who rose through lifetimes of effort to the very top of our government; they should have been perfectly prepared to defend themselves.  Anyway, a few excerpts from Trump's behavior, if you haven't seen them yet:

“We should charge them rent,” Trump said of South Korea. “We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make money off of everything.”...Trump proceeded to explain that NATO, too, was worthless. U.S. generals were letting the allied member countries get away with murder, he said, and they owed the United States a lot of money after not living up to their promise of paying their dues.  “They’re in arrears,” Trump said, reverting to the language of real estate. He lifted both his arms at his sides in frustration. 

Then he scolded top officials for the untold millions of dollars he believed they had let slip through their fingers by allowing allies to avoid their obligations.  “We are owed money you haven’t been collecting!” Trump told them. “You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.”

Trump questioned why the United States couldn’t get some oil as payment for the troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. “We spent $7 trillion; they’re ripping us off,” Trump boomed. “Where is the f---ing oil?”...“All these countries need to start paying us for the troops we are sending to their countries. We need to be making a profit,” Trump said. “We could turn a profit on this.”

“You’re all losers,” Trump said. “You don’t know how to win anymore.  I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.  Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

Well, a couple of comments about this literally deranged screamfest that I haven't seen anyone make.  First of all, this is the President of the United States, a man who has it in his power to bring war or peace to the world, and when thinking about the military, all he cares about is how he can use it to make money- his sole real obsession in life.  He sees no other purpose for war but as a source of profit.  Again, this malignant attitude alone should have been enough to boot him out of office permanently.  But as we know, it wasn't.

And let me mention two other remarks that reveal a person so totally un-self aware that in itself this should be considered a form of mental illness.  First, this one:

“You would totally go bankrupt if you had to run your own business.”

Uttered by a man who started out rich and went bankrupt six times in his own business, to a group of people, none of which had ever gone bankrupt.  And then there is this one:

"“You don’t know how to win anymore.  I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” 

Uttered by someone who wouldn't go to war with anyone, and who got his daddy's doctor to write him a lying letter to accomplish the feat.  These are the remarks of someone who is without question the victim of psychotic delusions, and his own party (which includes the great majority of all those generals) didn't care enough to do a thing about it.  That fact may very likely turn out to be of far more consequence that Trump's behavior itself.

Well, on to my final takeaway from this story.  Here is another excerpt from the new book:

"Tillerson in particular was stunned by Trump’s diatribe and began visibly seething. For too many minutes, others in the room noticed, he had been staring straight, dumbfounded, at Mattis, who was speechless, his head bowed down toward the table. Tillerson thought to himself, “Gosh darn it, Jim, say something. Why aren’t you saying something?”

But, as he would later tell close aides, Tillerson realized in that moment that Mattis was genetically a Marine, unable to talk back to his commander in chief, no matter what nonsense came out of his mouth."
 This is the mighty man too.  Aren't you proud of our country?

Now, let me tell you a story, which I got from Professor Richard Evans' writings.  When German generals were debriefed at the end of World War II, it was discovered that every one of them knew before Germany invaded Poland that the war was unwinnable.  They talked among themselves about trying to stop Hitler's madness, but in the end, their lifelong training in the rigid Prussian military system of absolute obedience caused (in their account) every single one of them to be unable to speak out or do a thing, at a point when they could have easily averted what was to follow.  Their "honor," i.e. their bloated egos, were more important to them than the impending deaths of fifty million people.

"The Tank meeting had so thoroughly shocked the conscience of military leaders that they tried to keep it a secret"

Because the appropriate answer to a mortal threat to our country, is to keep it a secret.  Right, that is the correct response; to cover your own ass rather than save the world.

"The Joint Chiefs chairman misleadingly described the meeting, skipping over the fireworks.

“He asked a lot of hard questions, and the one thing he does is question some fundamental assumptions that we make as military leaders — and he will come in and question those,” Dunford told Mitchell on July 22. “It’s a pretty energetic and an interactive dialogue.”

"Energetic and instructive." Not the words that I would use to describe a psychotic breakdown from the most powerful man in the world.  But hey, there was a good chance that no one would ever know, so we could all end up...well, right where we are today, with a mentally ill, stupid, brain damaged lunatic having succeeded in abandoning every constraint in his effort to rule the world literally as a three year old would.


Infidel753 said…
Reading about this incident immediately put me in mind of Hitler's episodes of screaming and ranting at his generals in the bunker at the end of World War II, calling them cowards, failures, etc. Of course, Hitler was venting his panic and frustration about losing the war as the Russians closed in. Trump wasn't even losing in any broad sense.

It's sometimes claimed that if Trump refuses to leave office after losing this November, the military might back him. That seems unlikely. A lot of the rank-and-file military is black or Hispanic, and Trump has done plenty to antagonize the top brass with his disrespect. Yes, they'll obey the president, but they won't obey Trump when he legally no longer is the president.

In fairness to the military, they operate under very strong institutional and traditional constraints against challenging the president. For obvious reasons, letting the military challenge its subordination to civilian control is potentially very dangerous. It's not their job to rein in a dangerously incompetent and psychotic president -- that's Congress's job. One which it can't do when one party is willing to collaborate with that president despite his abuses, but this is a situation the founders didn't anticipate.
Green Eagle said…
Infidel, I think that it is everyone's job to rein in a dangerously incompetent and psychotic President. Most of us can do very little about it (other than, in yours and my case, incessantly complaining) but this was a chance for these generals to act, not as soldiers, but as Americans, who all have a duty to stand up to an abomination like Trump.

I agree with what you say about the military being subordinate to civilian leadership, but there are extreme times when other things must take precedence. That meeting was one of those times; they could have at least seen to it that the American people knew what their President is really like.
seafury said…
In the interest of brevity, you could divide the military into two camps. The Kurt Schlicter side and the William McRaven side. This over simplifies it to be sure, but trumps pending implosion would probably lead to a night of the long knives/ krystalnacht scenario. Both sides would be "saving the republic". Trump only has to keep his mouth shut and he's reelected 52-48%. He isn't capable of that, so sometime this fall he'll declare martial law (or whatever passes for canceling the election perhaps all elections) and Putin's work will be almost complete. To me the parallel's to 1930's Germany and what follows seem pretty obvious. And remember, the front runner of the 2024 republican field is Don jr. Of course I could be wrong though maybe Ivanka or Eric come from behind to win by a nose.
Green Eagle said…
Seafury, a thoughtful comment, but I am not sure what you mean by the reference to the night of the long knives. Are you suggesting that Trump might actually resort to killing a thousand or so of his own party leaders, to insure absolute obedience to his commands? I mean, I wouldn't put it past him to want to do it, but even in this time of craven party obedience, could he really get people to go that far?
seafury said…
I may have used the wrong analogy. In the event that he'd be forced from the White House, (very unlikely) I think he would incite civil disobedience that would result in bloodshed. Not his or his bootlicking lapdogs, but amongst the "base" who would surround the White House, as well as perform "military operations" around the country. It's hard not to use 1930's Germany in examples because that's the only
Frame of reference I can think of. How the military would react is the real wild card. I served in the peacetime 80's. We were focused on the red menace, although I do recall a CO that said said it would be the Middle East and something called jihad. Trump would order the military to round up the " lying liberals" arrest Hillary and Obama, shut down all broadcast media except FOX, OAN and whatever "Christian news network" his spiritual advisors told him to. How the military reacts is the big question.
Sorry for the long winded response, this subject really touches a nerve with me as I feel we're heading into uncharted territory. I have a co worker who is active in the militia movement and he is straining at the leash. " You know the leash is coming off this spring right? Gonna be a lot of unhappy Hillary lovers. Life as they know it is gonna change" And a father in law who is a charismatic Pentecostal prosperity gospel minister. " Donald Trump is God's presence on earth" he is bringing about the end times praise Jesus" True these are only 2 extreme examples and I was all over the map in making my point. Thanks in advance for your patience and I only recently found your blog. Keep up the good work.
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