For some reason, President Donald Trump continues to take it upon himself to cyberbully prominent figures like retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal just because he dared disagree with the direction of the Trump administration. Now, retired Adm. William McRaven, who led the Navy SEAL unit that killed longtime terror leader Osama bin Laden, has joined those seeking to support McChrystal in the face of the presidential criticism.
‘Stan McChrystal is one of the great generals of this generation and the finest officer I ever served with. He is a deep strategic thinker, tactically brilliant, with unparalleled personal courage. His leadership of special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan unquestionably saved the lives of thousands of American and allied troops, as well as countless civilians. No general I know has given more in the service of this country.’
It’s mind boggling that we’ve made it to a point where former high ranking military officers have to defend each other against angry whiny tirades from the office of the president of the United States.
McChrystal had previously been among those to support McRaven after the president attacked him for not getting Bin Laden killed sooner. Trump has presented the laughably ridiculous claim that if only leaders had listened to his warning about Bin Laden back before 9/11, the whole mess McRaven helped curtail could have been avoided. The problem isn’t only that Trump never exactly proved himself some profound foreign policy wonk by singling out a terror leader who’d already attacked America for criticism, it’s also that he never even said the United States should take any special measures to capture Bin Laden, despite his claims otherwise.
More recently, in an interview that aired this weekend, McChrystal derided Trump as an immoral liar.
‘If we want to be governed by someone we wouldn’t do a business deal with because their background is so shady — if we’re willing to do that then that’s in conflict with who I think we are. And so I think it’s necessary in those times to take a stand.’
In response, in familiar Trump-ian fashion, the president lost it, railing:
‘“General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!’
“General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover! https://t.co/RzOkeHl3KV
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
It’s remarkable that Trump expects anyone to take him as a credible leader of the U.S. Armed Forces when this is how he behaves.
James Mattis certainly didn’t. The retired general resigned from his post as Defense Secretary, fed up with being at odds with the commander-in-chief on basic issues. In his widely circulated resignation letter, Mattis derided Trump’s dismissal of allies and embrace of aggressors — and again losing it, Trump pushed Mattis out two months before his resignation was supposed to take effect in response.
Mattis’ departure has sparked explicit concern about the direction of the Trump administration, even from traditionally Trump-aligned Senate Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mattis had previously been understood as one of the “adults in the room.” Trump has not yet announced his replacement.
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