70 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 29 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Trump vs. the Marines: Semper Lactentem

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

We don't really know (and probably never will) whether President Donald Trump really called America's World War One dead "losers" and "suckers," as Jeffrey Goldberg claims in a September 3 piece in The Atlantic.

On one hand, the claim rings true. Trump has a history of publicly spitting in the faces of war veterans both individually (calling Vietnam POW John McCain a "loser," vilifying administration appointees who even briefly remove their lips from his posterior, etc.) and collectively (for example, pardoning war criminal Eddie Gallagher in the face of his comrades' reports of his atrocities).

On the other hand, that it rings true makes it somewhat irrelevant. His "pro-military" supporters knew he was a snake when they picked him up, and they've continued to embrace him no matter often or brazenly he sinks his fangs into their favored people and causes.

Amid the howling commentary and "analysis," what I've not seen is any substantial discussion of two questions: Were US troops in World War One "losers?" Were the Marines who died at Belleau Wood "suckers?"

"Losers," I think, is pretty much an obvious falsehood. The US and its allies won that war, the Central Powers lost it, and the entry of US forces almost certainly changed that outcome from stalemate to rout.

Ever since boot camp in 1985, I've loved -- and steeped myself in -- Marine Corps history, and Belleau Wood looms large in that history. First Sergeant Dan Daly, already the winner of two Medals of Honor, is said to have yelled "come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" as he led his Marines into the fray. To this day, members of the Fifth and Sixth Marine Regiments wear the French fourragà re in recognition of their units' valor at Belleau Wood. The Marines carried the day at Belleau Wood. "Losers?" Nope.

But "suckers?" Well, maybe.

More than four million Americans volunteered for, or allowed themselves to be conscripted into, military service in World War One. 117,000 of them died. Hundreds of thousands more bore wounds that pained them for life.

And for what?

Certainly not, as US President Woodrow Wilson claimed, to make the world "safe for democracy." Among America's allies, Russia was an outright autocracy, while Britain and France, formally democratic at home, ran global and distinctly non-democratic empires. And Wilson himself instituted an anti-democratic police state at home, censoring and jailing opponents of the war.

Nor, as it turned out, was World War One "the war to end all wars." US entry into the war turned a likely status quo ante into an ersatz "peace" that led directly to World War Two, as the allies divvied up new suzerainties from the Central Powers' colonial remnants and imposed crushing reparations on Germany.

That -- and everything that followed from it, including a warfare-welfare state that, like a vampire latched firmly onto his victim's jugular, sucks peace and prosperity from Americans' lives to this very day -- is what the Marines at Belleau Wood died for.

"Suckers" sounds fair.

Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

2020: I'm So Sick of Superlatives

America Doesn't Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend