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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America

Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy
Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America
By William J. Astore
America has always had a love affair with its generals. It started at the founding of the republic with George Washington and continued with (among others) Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  These military men shared something in common: they were winning generals.  Washington in the Revolution; Jackson in the War of 1812; Taylor in the Mexican-American War; Grant in the Civil War; and Ike, of course, in World War II.  Americans have always loved a hero in uniform -- when he wins.
Yet twenty-first-century America is witnessing a new and revolutionary moment: the elevation of losing generals to the highest offices in the land.  Retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, known as a tough-talking “warrior-monk,” will soon be the nation’s secretary of defense.  He’ll be joined by a real mad dog, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Leading the Department of Homeland Security will be recently retired General John Kelly, another no-nonsense Marine. And even though he wasn’t selected, retired Army General David Petraeus was seriously considered for secretary of state, further proof of Trump’s starry-eyed fascination with the brass of our losing wars. Generals who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to anything but victory -- pyrrhic ones don’t count -- are again being empowered.  This time, it’s as “civilian” advisers to Trump, a business tycoon whose military knowledge begins and ends with his invocation of two World War II generals, George S. Patton and Douglas MacArthur, as his all-time favorite military leaders.
Click here to read more of this dispatch.http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176224/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_all_the_president%27s_generals/#more

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