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Take Your Military Parade And Drop It In Your Gold-Plated Toilet
I’ll make this short. Nobody likes a long, forced display of emotion. Except Donald Trump.
The stock market, previously the president’s favorite benchmark of national success, is tanking severely and whiplashing back up, and no one seems to fully understand why. Sixty-four thousand Americans are dying of drug overdoses per year — 175 per day, double the rate a decade ago — and nobody knows how to stop them. The suicide rate in America is higher than it’s been in decades, and it’s highest in the rural areas that economic progress and politicians of every stripe have left behind.
This is the America that our military is defending. It is not going well. The Afghanistan War, the United States’ longest in its history, has no obvious end; the generals in charge now were field grade officers when the war started. The forever war is turning out so many veterans that the VA can’t keep up — and the department is largely trying to fire its way out of the problem, without filling any of its top spots or hiring for any of its nearly 50,000 job vacancies. Some American war veterans are facing deportation. Others, with other-than-honorable discharges, are foundering with next to no help. The U.S.’s forward-deployed naval force, steaming away to back up the belligerence of a novice president’s tweets, is stretched to its breaking point, with groggy nav teams breaking ships and killing sailors. The entire military establishment, shot through with waste, fraud, and abuse, can’t even audit itself, and Congress is too broken to even fund it, except through short-term continuing resolutions, because we have reached a point in America where Americans have their political teams to root for and no incentives to be humane or conciliatory to each other for a greater cause.
Let’s do it for the duly elected commander-in-chief, who was born on third base and blames the world for not just scoring it as a run. Whose entire “military” service consists of a private boarding-school diploma and five draft deferments. Who used the commissioning ceremony of the Coast Guard Academy’s graduating cadets to bitch about the media’s coverage of him, when he wasn’t confusing the Coast Guard with the Navy. Who couldn’t stand still or remember the words for the National Anthem at Arlington on Memorial Day next to his secretary of defense and Joint Chiefs chairman (but he’s still pretty sure NFL players of color who don’t show sufficient anthem-patriotism should be fired). Who doesn’t have a clue what evening colors are, but surmises they must be for him. Who accessorizes with troops. Who likes “people who weren’t captured;” tells Gold Star families he’s “made a lot of sacrifices;” calls safe sex in the 1990s “my personal Vietnam;” and blames “the generals” for battle casualties.
Let’s throw a military bash with missiles and troops and bands for this rampaging golf-course rentier, because nobody’s ever done anything like that before, except the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Libya under Qaddafi, Iraq under Saddam, Zaire under Mobutu, the Nazi Reich under Hitler, Spain under Franco, Chile under Pinochet, Iran under the Shah, Uganda under Idi Amin, Yugoslavia under Tito, Romania under Ceausescu, Serbia under Milosevic.
Let’s do it like France does it on Bastille Day, because Lord knows that’s really fixed their country and the imperial colonies they occupied. Let’s emulate the fading great power that tried vainly to “win” Vietnam before handing it off to us shrugging, and these days can’t decide if its fifth republic will be socialist or ultraconservative or somewhere in between.
Let’s pause the wars for a minute to garrison the troops, spit-shine them, transport them, train them for a new pompous and circumstantial evolution, invite the networks, adore the leader, and then go back to failing at war, a few million dollars lighter, to get a poll bump for a man who loves the troops and America but derides as “the deep state” all the constitutional oath-takers who are investigating his campaign’s connections to Russia; his reliance on a national security adviser compromised by multiple foreign states; his pressurings and firings of top investigators; his role in making false statements about campaign meetings with Russians promising dirt on his opponent.
Let’s make America a banana republic. Let’s have a fucking parade. For Don.
You don’t need this. I don’t need this. But he sure does.
Update: 1:10 p.m. EDT: This post has been updated to clarify that 64,000 Americans die of drug overdoses annually.
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"