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All the President's Generals

All the President's Generals

William 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.

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All of Trump’s talk about “winning” is limited to Trump and his family winning at our expense. He is not yet sworn in and his kids are already auctioning off coffee clatches and hunting trips while diverting business into their hotels.


We are now the biggest banana republic of all time. A nation of proud fools led by an orangetang. It’s a good thing “patriots” are rewriting our history books. The truth would not be a good read or example for children. Except maybe for white children with no true morals.

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Professional Warriors vs Citizen Soldiers

Citizen Soldiers had to do something Heroic to be called a Hero, Professional Warriors just have to sign up.

Also, if they are ordered to fire on US Citizens, my bet is, they will.

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For all the good points this author makes, ultimately he delivers them choked by the bloody frame of “winning” wars.

But Tom Dispatch writers can be depended on for such.

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William Astore is a military man in the tradition of Smedley Butler. He seems to view the world using a military perspective one of his tools. This is not a bad thing.

Again, this author makes some good points.

I thought this framing of torture was pretty pathetic however…

“He has his virtues: a distinguished career in the Marine Corps, a sensible stance against torture, a dedication to all ranks within the military”

Exactly what stance against torture would NOT be “sensible” I would ask this author? Would a stance that torture is a crime against humanity be deemed by him as “less sensible”?

Here this author is sticking to the frame of not calling out all torture as war crimes, and hideous immoral acts of State power, but rather to take the more “sensible” frame, that it should be opposed “merely” because “it doesn’t work”.

This author might write “war is a racket, unless the generals are winning”.