L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 903, December 18, 2016
Donald Trump, military dictator (or: Dick Daring, boy reporter)
by Vin Suprynowicz
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
I’ve been watching presidential elections for 50-some years now (scary as that number sounds.) I don’t ever remember seeing the kind of hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, downright shrieking we’re now experiencing over “the selection of the cabinet.”
Part of this, of course, is that Donald Trump ran against the state-socialist media, who assumed they (and the corrupt Republicrat politicians on whose greasy table scraps these tail-waggers dine) couldn’t be beaten because they still “controlled the message” beamed into every American living room at suppertime.
Bondservants to the disreputable Clinton campaign, they ran uncorroborated—without demanding a police report, a court deposition sworn under penalty of perjury, ANYTHING—every accusation the despicable Hillaryites could dredge up from a clutch of mostly middle-aged female Hillary donors (represented cost-free by a Hillary attorney suspiciously resembling Gloria Allred or her daughter) whining that billionaire Donald Trump groped them or bumped them or hit on them or kissed them, usually 11 to 31 years ago.
That should fix him!
But it didn’t.
(Just by the way, guys—hard at work on follow-ups, are you, now that you’ve got plenty of time, digging to see if any of those ladies were recruited, coached, or compensated by the billion- dollar Hillary Machine? Not even curious?)
And unfortunately, when that didn’t work, Hillary (who hasn’t so much as gone grocery shopping since 1996), poor Hillary—who couldn’t seem to drum up one good rousing cheer among a hundred bused-in college girls in a high-school gym—had no plan “B,” other than “It’s my turn; I’m not sure what you mean by ‘the economy’; if you don’t vote for me it’s because you hate womyn, and heck, fighting a land war against the Russians in Syria might be fun!”
So now, desperately faced with their own growing irrelevance, like fairy-tale monarchs revealed to be wearing no clothes at all, the gang at CNN, Politico, WashPo, Slate, et al., have sworn on a flaming cross to discover (invent, whatever) a demonic purpose behind anything and everything the billionaire hotel developer does.
Far from worrying about this, Donald Trump glories in it. Controlling news cycle after new cycle, he’s turned a usually dull process—the president-elect routinely announcing he’s going to recycle half the cabinet from the last time his party was in power (is Kissinger dead yet? The Dulles brothers?) while adding a few personal cronies, yawn, put it on page 6—into the nation’s most-watched reality TV show, “The Tower Interviews.”
Even milquetoasts like Mitt Romney, the “conservative” who banned firearms at the Salt Lake City Olympics (in a state where totin’ firearms is otherwise legal and widely accepted) so as not to “offend our foreign guests”—and who dismissed Trump as a disgraceful clown only a few months back—come scampering at his beck and call, as the whole nation holds its breath and wonders….
This is driving the Left nuts. Is Trump actually looking for people with the management know-how to ENACT THE AGENDA HE RAN ON? Is he allowed to DO that? The BUSHES never did that!
Why, he must be … a Russian agent! Sure, that’s the ticket! (This from a bunch of closet Marxists who’ve spent the past 65 years insisting there were never any bad Commies in Hollywood OR in Moscow!)
Or maybe he’s … setting himself up as a military dictator! Sure! Bozo the Fuhrer, with swastikas on his floppy shoes!
On Nov. 30, for instance, The Washington Post ran an essay by Phillip Carter and Loren DeJonge Schulman of the “Center for a New American Security” –- run by one Richard Fontaine, who was among dozens of “Republican national security” figures who signed a letter during the campaign warning that Trump would be a dangerous president—headlined “Trump is surrounding himself with generals. That’s dangerous.”
(Mind you, this was BEFORE Trump announced Monday that he’ll nominate retired general John Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security—the third ex-military man tapped for a top job in the administration.)
“More than any other president-elect in recent memory, Donald Trump has sought out military brass to populate his inner circle,” the WaPo thumb-sucker begins. “Trump announced Thursday that he wants retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as his defense secretary — a post traditionally designated for a civilian.”
Oh, no! Weren’t Robert McNamara or Les Aspin or Don Rumsfeld available? They were great!
“Trump is also considering retired Army Gen. David Petraeus for secretary of state, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly for secretary of state or homeland security, and Adm. Michael S. Rogers as the director of national intelligence, the Nov. 30 Post piece rambled on.
“His national security adviser-designate, Michael Flynn, retired from the Army as a lieutenant general after decades as a military intelligence officer. And CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo graduated from West Point and served during the Cold War as an Army officer.
“No doubt these men bring tremendous experience,” the op-ed continues, with a bit of a sneer. “But we should be wary about an overreliance on military figures. Great generals don’t always make great Cabinet officials. And if appointed in significant numbers, they could undermine another strong American tradition: civilian control of an apolitical military….
Um … what? Once military officers retire, don’t they go back to being “civilians”? Were Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy not “civilians”?
“The greatest risk posed by Trump’s rush to court the brass is the extent to which our military leadership may become, in reality or perception, a politicized institution,” the duo conclude. “In the … long run, both the Trump administration and our national security will suffer if his appointments undermine the institutional integrity of the military and corrupt its leadership in service of political ends.”
Wow. “Journalists” for Politico & the New Yorker quickly went even further Online, of course, bandying about the term “junta.” Some in the globalist Leftosphere have even started issuing dire warnings about a Trump “military dictatorship.”
“Trump is setting himself up for a coup by packing Cabinet with ex-generals,” we read at the far-left “Raw Story.” ( https://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/trump-is-setting-himself-up-for-a-coup-by-packing-cabinet-with-ex-generals-military-expert-warns/.)
OPPOSED TO TYRANNY? OR DO THEY REVEL IN IT?
What would these yammerers say if America had a REAL military dictator?
Just imagine if Americans elected a president who turned out to be a military dictator!
Why, if any of the states were upset enough at his election to try and secede—as some Californians are now proposing—such a president could conceivably re-institute the draft, raise an army of hundreds of thousands, and invade any such seceding states, killing tens or even hundreds of thousands of their citizens (armed or otherwise), shelling and burning their cities and their crops till women and children would have to hide out in caves!
Such an out-of-control president could demolish their highways and rail lines, blockade their ports and cut off their trade in a purposeful attempt to “starve them into submission”! Such a president might go so far as to arrest and jail newspaper editors for writing editorials in opposition to his unconstitutional usurpations. Why, he could arrest newly elected state legislators even in states that HAVEN’T seceded, imprisoning them without trial or due process on the mere suspicion that they MIGHT vote to secede!
And once they instituted martial law in conquered American cities, his military governors could actually execute—execute! by firing squad!—civilians for such minor infractions as “taking down an American flag,” while threatening that if people didn’t snap to it and start to obey their orders without question, why, they’d merely start treating the decent women of that city as WHORES!
Good heavens! Why, if any newly elected American president were to do stuff like THAT, the journalists of The Washington Post and Politico and the New Yorker and The New York Times and CNN and MSNBC and every other news outlet that hates Donald Trump would probably, um … call him one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Because we already had that guy. We already had the president who turned into a military dictator, who did all those things, every one of them, for years, until a resident of one of those invaded and conquered sovereign states—states that were never warned when they joined the union that THEY’D NEVER BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE — finally shot him in the head and killed him, an act properly described as “tryannicide.”
Tom DiLorenzo and Burton Fulsom have documented it all: see https://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/06/thomas-dilorenzo/the-real-lincoln-2/ or https://mises.org/library/confronting-lincoln-cult, for starters.
That tyrant’s name was Abraham Lincoln, and I’ll bet all those statist journalists, those worshipers at the altar of the all-powerful presidency, think it’s JUST GREAT that American schoolchildren are still taught in their coercion-based government youth propaganda camps (“public schools”) that old “Honest Abe the rail-splitter” (in reality “Racist Abe the railroad lawyer”) was one of our greatest presidents, that we even still celebrate his birthday … don’t they?
I mean, these are the same characters who claimed the mass starvation and executions under Joe Stalin were “just exaggerations,” that America’s A-bomb spies of the 1950s were just “victims of the ‘Red Scare,’” and that Fidel Castro was a “great democratic freedom fighter” … right?
After all, Lincoln freed the … well … no. Actually, Lincoln never freed a single slave. If he’d actually freed a slave, he surely would have asked his name and shaken his hand—before reminding him that the “Great Emancipator’s” plan was to ship them all to Central America so they couldn’t marry white folk—don’t you think? Never happened.
Lincoln repeatedly told the South they could keep their slaves if they merely agreed to stay in the union. He repeated in his first inaugural: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” (You don’t think Honest Abe was LYING, do you?)
And when he did finally publish an “Emancipation Proclamation” in 1863, he promptly admitted it was nothing but a political gimmick of no legal authority, carefully worded so as to “free” only those slaves in the territories still in rebellion, so that his own generals could continue using black slaves to harvest cotton in conquered portions of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana to ship to England for desperately needed foreign exchange.
(And as many as two thirds of those black slaves were cheated out of their minimal promised “wages”—see http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/291/cotton-and-the-civil-war.)
Yet oddly enough, I don’t believe Lincoln—whose own military experience was limited to a few months in the Illinois militia during the 1832 Blackhawk War—had ANY notable former generals in his cabinet, whereas the inexperienced Muslim amateur who almost got us into a war with Russia over Syria, Barack Obama, appointed three generals (James Jones, Eric Shinsheki, and Dennis Blair) to HIS cabinet, as Bill Kristol recently pointed out … without anyone shrieking that the Chicago “community organizer” was creating a “junta.”
In fact, former generals including Washington, Grant, Eisenhower and even Zachary Taylor proved pretty good about keeping us out of pointless, swamp-like foreign wars with no clear way out. It’s folks with MINIMAL or NO military experience like LBJ and the Clintons and Obamas (and ever FDR, who let our forces weaken unforgivably in the 1930s, even as he goaded Japan with embargoes in hopes they’d attack) who keep doing that.
Of course there have been bad and stupid generals, but our military leaders “in general,” knowing how awful war can be, have sought to deter war through strength, and—when war proves unavoidable—tend to prefer short, massive, decisive action.
IS HE SERIOUS? HE MIGHT ACTUALLY DO SOME OF THAT STUFF HE PROMISED? AAAAH!
So what’s this all about? The left and their propaganda arms, the legacy press and the teachers’ unions, LOVE strong, tyrannical leaders who raise taxes, debase the currency, sell out our liberties in favor of bigger government and cost-plus contracts for their corporate buddies, and get us into really big wars. That’s why Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt are on their “all-time greats” lists, while presidents who kept us out of war and pretty much just carried out their constitutional duties—Jefferson, Martin Van Buren—are lumped down at the bottom with the uninteresting losers.
Make no mistake, Donald Trump can be arrogant, even boorish. Yes, the secretly recorded, 11-year-old “they’ll let you grab their pussies” tape was cringe-worthy (though “let” implies consent, and I thought all good leftists agreed everything is OK so long as it’s consensual.) Meantime, did you hear Hillary laugh about springing the rapist of 12-year-old Kathy Shelton with Hillary’s “she asked for it” defense (http://www.breitbart.com/live/second-presidential-debate-fact-check-livewire/fact-check-yes-hillary-clinton-laugh-successfully-defending-child-rapist/ ), … or about causing the death of Moammar Gadhafi? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y ) Does the word “soul-less” come to mind?
It took a pretty bullish personality type to stand there and weather the shame-a-thon orchestrated by the perverts Clinton and Podesta, who made the mistake of assuming the Donald would behave like one of their own simpering pajama boys, collapsing in a heap of tears and apologies, instead of standing tall, driving through, drawing 30,000 fans to his twice-a-day pep rallies—sometimes exceeding the populations of the towns in which they were held.
Arrogance can be at least partially forgiven in a man who — unlike Hillary Clinton—has a lot of accomplishments to be arrogant about. It also helps when the oratory doesn’t sound completely memorized.
I’ll tell you what really concerns today’s globalist, open-borders, “Oh no! Global warming! I’m mellltinnng” gang: It’s the fact that Trump is interviewing and winnowing down and seeking out leaders, not hand- holders who will coddle and sympathize with career paper-pushers who try to explain to them why nothing can be accomplished, but people who actually have a track record of suffering no whiners and getting things done.
THAT’S what worries them.
Dwight David Eisenhower, like George Washington before him, was a guy who reached for solutions that could get something done. When Governor Orville Faubus said that no black student would ever set foot in Little Rock’s Central High School, did Eisenhower send a “negotiator”? Well, kind of. His “negotiator” was called the 101st Airborne.
And when Eisenhower decided it was time to start rounding up the illegal aliens and sending them back where they came from, he didn’t ask corrupt, paid-off Democrats like Lyndon Johnson to help him “secure the border, pretty please with sugar on it,” did he? No, he brought in retired three-star Gen. Joe Swing. (See http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0706/p09s01- coop.html.)
HE CLEANED UP THE COUNTRY, THE OLD WILD WEST COUNTRY, HE MADE LAW AND ORDER PREVAIL …
“One of Swing’s first decisive acts was to transfer certain entrenched immigration officials out of the border area to other regions of the country where their political connections with people such as Senator Johnson would have no effect,” the Christian Science Monitor reports.
“Then on June 17, 1954, what was called ‘Operation Wetback’ began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.
“By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.
“By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.”
And “Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.
“Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.
“The sea voyage was ‘a rough trip, and they did not like it,’ says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.”
All with a tiny fraction of the personnel available to our immigration boys, today.
That’s the way generals do things.
But no one I know of, then or now, described the Eisenhower administration as a “military dictatorship.” … or a “junta.”
As the Wall Street Journal opined on Dec. 9:
“To hear the media these days, you’d think Donald Trump is about to turn the U.S. into a banana republic, where all life is controlled by the ‘generals.’ As Time’s headline quavered this week: ‘The Creeping Militarization of Donald Trump’s Cabinet.’
“The junta watch began with the appointment of retired three- star Michael Flynn to be national security adviser…. The grumblings really got going with the selection of retired four-star Marine Gen. James Mattis to run the Defense Department: A general to run the military, whatever happened to civilian control?
“The press’s nerves finally snapped when Mr. Trump proposed another retired Marine four-star, John Kelly, to run the Homeland Security Department. The President-elect couldn’t slip this cabal past the Washington Post: ‘Trump hires a third general, raising concerns about heavy military influence.’
“Sorry to break the mood,” the Journal editorialist writes, “but a military coup is the last thing that worries us about the Trump era.
“The case for the Trump generals has much to do with the reasons he was elected. Toward the top of those voter concerns is that Washington ‘doesn’t work.’ One big reason Washington no longer works is because the bureaucracies inside its various departments have grown too big to succeed.
“After the Vietnam War, the U.S. military undertook an historic reorganization of how it recruited, trained and deployed the vast numbers of individuals serving in the armed forces. That reorganization is a famous success story. Generals Mattis, Kelly, Flynn and Gen. David Petraeus (mooted for Secretary of State) are products of this military structure.
“The U.S. needs more of these management skills, especially as executives from private business find it harder to maneuver around conflict-of-interest rules. Generals Mattis, Kelly and Flynn have spent careers navigating large public bureaucracies, and succeeding in spite of them….
“Modern Washington needs more than a few good men and women. Donald Trump should get them wherever he can find them.”
Reprinted from Vin Suprynowicz's blog at http://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=4359
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