The Pentagon wants to ban the Confederate flag on military bases—but Mark Esper might intervene

Politico reports that top military leaders are "pressuring" Defense Secretary Mark Esper to ban Confederate flags on military bases, and that those officials discussed such a ban at a top-level meeting yesterday. The premise here is that the Pentagon wants Mark Esper to go directly against Dear Dumb Leader, Donald Trump, who most specifically has been campaigning against Confederate flag bans, against renaming military bases to strip the names of Confederate leaders, and against removing statutes of Confederate-traitors-and-the-horses-they-rode-in-on.

Let's all put on our pundit hats and take a guess where Mark Esper is going to come down on this, shall we?

The facts are these: Mark Esper has supported Trump through every rotten thing Trump has done to the military. He stood by while Trump pardoned war criminals and removed top brass who opposed it. He enabled Trump's reach-down to punish a military official who provided damning testimony during the congressional impeachment investigation against Trump. He followed orders to dispatch troops in preparation to sweep Black Lives Matters demonstrators from Washington, D.C. streets by force, if necessary. Mark Esper remains defense secretary right now because he has methodically made sure to keep on Donald Trump's good side, even if keeping on Trump's good side means standing aside while Trump does grotesquely corrupt or anti-American things.

So if the joint chiefs and other top officials are requesting Esper do the obviously decent thing here, but Donald Trump's ever-frothing Twitter feed is absolutely purple-faced with rage against anyone who would dare do such a thing, one would have to be a bit dense to presume Esper was suddenly going to decide the nationwide symbol of slack-jawed white supremacy needed to be given the boot.

Oh, and while the Marine Corps, for example, tried to ban Confederate flags on their own authority, Esper put those policies on hold, ostensibly in preparation for a "department-wide" policy on the matter.

Politico's report also suggests a potential dodge for Esper. Esper could unveil a new policy prohibiting "racially or socially divisive symbols" in general, and the Confederate flag might be counted as one of those "divisive" symbols, perhaps without mentioning it (thus leading individual commands to make the decision without Esper having to do something brave) or perhaps mentioning it in a long list of other "divisive" symbols (in an attempt to water down the impression that the flag was specifically targeted).

Both of those might be plausible evasions in normal bureaucratic times, but Trump is single-minded about the things he chooses to be single-minded about. Any policy—any policy—that Fox News reports has the effect of banning the Confederate flag will send him into fits, and Esper will be blamed.

So this seems to be yet another situation, as in Trump's pardoning of war criminals or Trump's retaliations against military officers, in which Esper must choose between doing the obviously right and decent thing, and chucking that thing in order to polish Trump's boots. The odds that Esper would have stood by while Trump was a rat bastard all the other times, but this issue is the one he'll break from Dear Leader on, seem kind of low.

The Pentagon wants to ban the Confederate flag on military bases—but Mark Esper might intervene

Politico reports that top military leaders are "pressuring" Defense Secretary Mark Esper to ban Confederate flags on military bases, and that those officials discussed such a ban at a top-level meeting yesterday. The premise here is that the Pentagon wants Mark Esper to go directly against Dear Dumb Leader, Donald Trump, who most specifically has been campaigning against Confederate flag bans, against renaming military bases to strip the names of Confederate leaders, and against removing statutes of Confederate-traitors-and-the-horses-they-rode-in-on.

Let's all put on our pundit hats and take a guess where Mark Esper is going to come down on this, shall we?

The facts are these: Mark Esper has supported Trump through every rotten thing Trump has done to the military. He stood by while Trump pardoned war criminals and removed top brass who opposed it. He enabled Trump's reach-down to punish a military official who provided damning testimony during the congressional impeachment investigation against Trump. He followed orders to dispatch troops in preparation to sweep Black Lives Matters demonstrators from Washington, D.C. streets by force, if necessary. Mark Esper remains defense secretary right now because he has methodically made sure to keep on Donald Trump's good side, even if keeping on Trump's good side means standing aside while Trump does grotesquely corrupt or anti-American things.

So if the joint chiefs and other top officials are requesting Esper do the obviously decent thing here, but Donald Trump's ever-frothing Twitter feed is absolutely purple-faced with rage against anyone who would dare do such a thing, one would have to be a bit dense to presume Esper was suddenly going to decide the nationwide symbol of slack-jawed white supremacy needed to be given the boot.

Oh, and while the Marine Corps, for example, tried to ban Confederate flags on their own authority, Esper put those policies on hold, ostensibly in preparation for a "department-wide" policy on the matter.

Politico's report also suggests a potential dodge for Esper. Esper could unveil a new policy prohibiting "racially or socially divisive symbols" in general, and the Confederate flag might be counted as one of those "divisive" symbols, perhaps without mentioning it (thus leading individual commands to make the decision without Esper having to do something brave) or perhaps mentioning it in a long list of other "divisive" symbols (in an attempt to water down the impression that the flag was specifically targeted).

Both of those might be plausible evasions in normal bureaucratic times, but Trump is single-minded about the things he chooses to be single-minded about. Any policy—any policy—that Fox News reports has the effect of banning the Confederate flag will send him into fits, and Esper will be blamed.

So this seems to be yet another situation, as in Trump's pardoning of war criminals or Trump's retaliations against military officers, in which Esper must choose between doing the obviously right and decent thing, and chucking that thing in order to polish Trump's boots. The odds that Esper would have stood by while Trump was a rat bastard all the other times, but this issue is the one he'll break from Dear Leader on, seem kind of low.

Trump ordered officials to find some reason to deny Vindman’s promotion—they found nothing

The early retirement of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman isn’t the largest story in a nation racked by a deadly pandemic, a fragmented economy, and an ongoing fight to restructure public safety in the face of racial violence by police. No one died in this story. No one was locked in a detention center. No one was pulled before a kangaroo court.

But as more details emerge on Vindman’s final months in the U. S. military, his story does seem to encapsulate so many themes of the last three years. In part that’s because Vindman’s story is the American story—an immigrant who demonstrated that, in America, he could be accepted right in the heart of the government for his expertise. In part that’s because Vindman so clearly placed his bet on honesty and patriotism, trusting in the story of America that America tells itself. And in part it’s because Vindman’s story is the story of Donald Trump’s America, where nothing is more important than vengeance.

Vindman wasn’t kicked out of the military and he wasn’t facing charges—it was just clear that he was facing a future of … no future. The promotion he was due to receive this summer was not going to happen. Worse still, it was made clear to him that his lifetime of experience in working on issues related to Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe was now worthless, because he was not going to be allowed to work in this area. Instead, what Vindman faced was a future of make-work positions, deliberately structured to make it clear both to him, and everyone else, that he was just marking time without the potential for further achievements.

That’s not a unique situation. It’s exactly the kind of thing that happens to many in the military when they’ve done something wrong. Captains who lose a ship, commanders who make a huge tactical mistake, anyone suspected of a crime that can never be quite nailed down … they can end up with a few key words in their files, a “black spot” that’s obvious every time they’re up for promotion or assignment. Facing a lifetime of zero potential and unfulfilling assignments, resignation is the expected response. Those who don’t resign right away, soon realize just how cold it can be within the military when the chain of command turns its back.

The thing is that Vindman got such a black spot without doing anything wrong. As The New Yorker reports, Vindman’s colleagues and supervisors had nothing but praise. 

When he went in front of the House to testify in Trump’s impeachment, Vindman began with an opening statement for the ages, one that underscored both his commitment to the nation, and his belief in the character of America. “Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision, forty years ago, to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America, in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry—I will be fine for telling the truth.”

In these faded times, it might have almost seemed as if Vindman was being ironic. However, his former boss Fiona Hill makes it clear that the moving statement was exactly as honest as it seemed. “Alex had no clue,” said Hill. “He’s a distinguished soldier and was not involved in politics. He was prepared to deal with the enemy outside, but not when the enemy was within. He was pretty shocked as it played out.”

After being escorted out of the White House, Vindman was slated to be promoted to full colonel, go to the National War College for a season, then return to a foreign posting. None of that happened. Because the White House made it clear that Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. 

Instead, White House officials informed Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy that they should “dig for misconduct” and find something in Vindman’s record that would justify blocking his promotion. Esper and McCarthy dug. They didn’t find anything.

It didn’t matter. Vindman was made aware that he would not be promoted, and “never be deployable overseas again.” He took the route that many have taken in the past and left under his own power.

It’s a personal tragedy for a man who should have had another decade or more of contributing to the future of the nation he loved. It’s a national tragedy in that it clearly shows how Trump is willing to use his power to quash the lives of honorable people who have the temerity to believe that America is what America claims to be.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman did his duty to the nation, and now he’s being forced out of the military

While John Bolton sat back and contemplated his huge book advance, and even larger supply of personal cowardice, those who had served under him demonstrated both bravery and dedication to the Constitution in coming forward to testify in the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. The two most critical witnesses of the entire event may have been Dr. Fiona Hill, who testified to how Trump suborned the foreign policy  of the United States to “a domestic political errand” and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who made it clear that Trump and others were promoting “a false and alternative narrative of Ukraine” and that Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president had generated serious concern.

In his opening statement before the House, Vindman sent a touching reassurance to his father. "Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth." However, even though he was slated for promotion this month, Vindman has now announced he is leaving the military. Because Donald Trump is determined to prove that the United States can be just as bad as the Soviet Union.

After over 21 years of service, Vindman was slated to be promoted to full colonel. However, there were concerns that Trump—who had Vindman both reassigned and escorted forcibly from the White House—might interfere. In normal times, this shouldn’t be a concern. However, these are anything but normal times, and considering that Trump had already acted against Vindman’s twin brother, even though he did not testify, the idea of Lt. Col. Vindman being persecuted for doing his duty both as a military officer and a citizen seemed a pretty good bet. 

Earlier this month, a purge got underway at the Defense Department as Trump flushed career officials and military officers who were seen as more loyal to anything, Constitution included, than to Trump. This included the removal of the top official overseeing international security, Kathryn Wheelbarger, and acting comptroller Elaine McCusker. Their crime was only that they had a “good relationship” with former general Jim Mattis. But now that Mattis is on Trump’s enemies list, so is everyone associated with him.

Considering that even guilt by association was enough to doom others, it shouldn’t be that surprising that CNN is now reporting that “military officials have communicated to Vindman that the White House has sought to become involved in the promotion process.” Vindman has also been told that he is “no longer deployable” in his area of expertise. So, rather than stay around,  Vindman is retiring. In a statement from his attorney, the lieutenant colonel says that he has been subject to a "campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation" directed by Trump since the impeachment. 

Vindman may be leaving now, but he should be going with the admiration of a nation—and a promise from Joe Biden that when Trump is gone, the military will once again have room for those who have demonstrated true personal bravery.

John Cusack Outrageously Claims Military Has ‘Abandoned’ Trump: Says Supporters He Still Has Are Racist

The radically liberal actor John Cusack had yet another unhinged meltdown stemming from Donald Trump and his supporters. In a deranged tweet that was full of typos, Cusack claimed that the president is “playing for an exit strategy” and that the only supporters he has left are racist.

“Trump is playing for an exit strategy—that keeps him from jail- miltary [sic] has abandoned his fascism—all he’s got left is rascists [sic]- He wants something to leverage – to stay out of jail,” Cusack tweeted, noticeably misspelling the words “military” and “racists.”

In another tweet today, Cusack called Trump a “bloated punk,” which just goes to show how deep his hatred for the president runs.

Cusack’s Twitter page is full of disturbing meltdowns against Trump and those who voted for him, indicating all-consuming hatred for the president equivalent to many of his Hollywood cohorts. Back in March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Cusack called for another impeachment effort against Trump, saying it was necessary to “save lives.”

“We need strikes /  and we need to remove trump from power to save lives Impeach him again / Pressure for 25th,” he tweeted on March 31.

All Cusack is accomplishing with these tweets is showing the world that he is just another Hollywood liberal elitist who has lost all touch with reality.

This piece was written by PopZette Staff on June 13, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
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The post John Cusack Outrageously Claims Military Has ‘Abandoned’ Trump: Says Supporters He Still Has Are Racist appeared first on The Political Insider.

Biden Predicts Military Will Escort President Trump Out Of Office If He Refuses To Leave

Joe Biden suggested the military will intervene should President Trump lose to him in the 2020 election and refuse to leave office.

Biden was asked by Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah whether the thought of Trump refusing to exit the White House had ever entered his mind.

Surprisingly, the former Vice President replied, “Yes, I have.”

He then discussed former military officials who have spoken out against the President’s desire to use the military to help quell riots in Democrat-ravaged cities.

In demonstrating that he has, in fact, been thinking about what to do if Trump refuses to accept the election results, the Democrat nominee somehow linked the two.

“I promise, I am absolutely convinced they [the military] will escort him from the White House with great dispatch,” said Biden.

RELATED: Watch: AOC Stumbles Over Her Words When Told More Police Means Less Crime

Afraid He’ll ‘Steal’ the Election

At another point during the interview, Biden – whose party refused to accept the 2016 election results, tried to remove the President through impeachment, and is currently trying to steal the 2020 election through vote-by-mail – said his biggest worry is that Trump is actually the one who will cheat.

“It’s my greatest concern. My single greatest concern,” Biden said. “This president is going to try to steal this election. This is a guy who said that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent.”

Of course, he never said “all” mail-in voting is fraudulent, only that it is ripe for such activity, which is verifiably true.

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McEnany Slaps Biden Back to Reality

Four years we’ve spent listening to Democrats refuse to accept the election results. And now we have to sit here and listen to them yet again say they’re worried Trump won’t accept them?

Pot, meet kettle.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed Biden for his off-the-wall comments.

“Leave it to Democrats to go out there and grandstand and level these conspiracy theories,” McEnany told Fox News, adding that it was “a ridiculous proposition.”

Democrats have spent a good portion of Trump’s first term in office pretending Hillary was the truly legitimate President, so peddling in the ‘ridiculous’ is what they do.

The post Biden Predicts Military Will Escort President Trump Out Of Office If He Refuses To Leave appeared first on The Political Insider.

Soldiers and veterans are dropping dead of COVID-19, and Trump doesn’t care

Impeached president Donald Trump is a f’n idiot. He tries so hard to sound inspirational and hopeful and tough, and instead he sounds like a moron. Like here, when he ends up sounding totally psyched and excited that the United States lead the world in coronavirus deaths:

"The whole world is excited watching us," Trump tells reporters. "Because we're leading the world."

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 5, 2020

He wants to sound optimistic, but he’s too stupid to pull it off. No, the world isn’t excited to see the devastation happening in the United States (except maybe Russia), and presumably, neither is Trump. But who knows? The same happens when he tries to frame the pandemic as a battle between a wily mastermind of a virus, and America’s can-do spirit. 

Here is Trump again, yesterday:

Trump says the virus is "a tough enemy, a smart enemy. But nobody's like us and nobody's tough like us. And I said it before and I'll say it again: the people of our country are warriors."

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 5, 2020

The virus isn’t smart. It’s a freakin’ virus. It’s as dumb as a Trump, following base instincts without regards to long-term strategy. And we certainly aren’t going to defeat the virus by being “tough.” The virus doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the grit of the American people. It just does its own thing, on its own timetable, unconcerned by “tough” words from Trump or anyone else.

Literally, the only way to currently thwart this virus is to hide from it. That’s how powerful it is. And the only way to thwart this thing, long-term, is through science. So yeah, smart people doing smart things. Again, no “tough” words from Trump will matter a whit.

If Trump wants to treat this as a war, however, why not treat people as actual uniformed soldiers? Give front-line and essential employees veterans benefits, hazard pay, and medals. Give them free socialized medical care like members of the armed forces. Pay out $1 million in death benefits to every one of those workers felled in the line of duty. It’s a war, right? Treat the people like actual warriors. 

Speaking of, did you know that real-life warriors, those who are currently wearing a uniform, or did so once upon a time, are also dying en masse? According to the latest tally, 27 Department of Defense service members, employees, and dependents have died from the disease, as well as 771 veterans inside the VA medical system. Obviously, that doesn’t count veterans who died outside of that system, but even now, we’re at nearly 800 dead (and counting). 

But Trump doesn’t care. The only time he thinks about our service members and veterans is when they serve his ego, as backdrops for his campaign or photo ops. Otherwise, perhaps he’d keep them in mind and try to minimize the carnage. 

But he doesn’t care about anyone. The end. And this toxic brew of psychotic indifference and rank incompetence means that we’re in for hundreds of thousands more deaths before we’re mercifully done with his presidency next January. 

The Republican Party will owe this country for the death and destruction it wrought, for refusing to take out Trump when it had the chance (not just impeachment, but via 25th Amendment), and that’s a debt it will never be able to repay. 

Video: I Cried When I Watched Super Bowl LIV ‘Ragged Old Flag’ Tribute By Johnny Cash And Here’s Why

I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Johnny Cash was hands down the most badass country singer in history!

I cried, and I am not ashamed to let anyone know because I love my flag, and I hate that citizens in this country continue to disrespect her.

RELATED: Political Super Bowl Ad Likely to Backfire

I’m a very proud Veteran, and I love that flag more than words can say. No matter where I was deployed, I always had our flag there. My oath of enlistment will end when I die ( United States Air Force, 1987-1995 and served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield). I love my country, dearly, and I fought hard for it. I hope I made a difference; I tried my heart out too.

Anyone who hates that flag, hate the millions who died to protect them. Think about that. Men and women with families and dreams died to protect your rights to speak your mind. And just because you want to say something wretched and nasty about this country, doesn’t mean you should.

I get chills when Johnny says, “because she’s been through the fire before, and I believe she can take a lot more.” I love this country, and I love my fellow Americans who feel the same way as me.

I think that every American should listen to this song, and if they don’t feel proud and have a tear in their eye, maybe they should think about not considering themselves American.

MORE NEWS: ‘Superbad’ Star Jonah Hill Says ‘Real Change’ In Movies Will Only Happen When Women And Minorities Run Studios

This right here is why I’m not only proud to be American. I’m damn proud of every soldier that has ever fought and died for that “ragged old flag.” This should be our national anthem.

I don’t know about you but I wish it were still those times. May have not been any better than today, but at least families were closer and stronger or that’s just how I feel, people are way too into technology, and not out in the real world.

We are lucky to live in this great country. I am so sick of everyone protesting this or that. We need a day of no protest, where we should all appreciate the fact that we are Americans first and agree to disagree peacefully and politely! We need peace.

RIP all brave men and women that died defending Old Glory.

It makes me tear up every time.

More Stories on WayneDupree.com

 

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DEVELOPING: Taliban Claims it Shot Down U.S. Air Force Plane Carrying CIA Officials in Afghanistan

By LifeZette | January 27, 2020

The Taliban has just taken responsibility, claiming they shot down a United States Air Force plane in Afghanistan which they say was carrying ‘high-ranking’ CIA officers.

The Daily Star reported that the aircraft was shot down on Monday afternoon in the Ghazni province of the Middle Eastern nation.

Originally, it was claimed by local officials that the plane was a Boeing 737-400 jet belonging to Ariana Airlines that was carrying 83 people, but photos clearly showed that the aircraft had a U.S. Air Forces logo.

This caused the U.S. military to launch an investigation into the incident, and the Taliban has since admitted that they shot down the plane, which was in fact a U.S. Air Force Bombardier E-11A.

According to the The Daily Star, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement that everyone onboard the plane was killed, and that passengers included high-ranking CIA officers.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid added that “lots” of U.S. service members were killed in the crash, but since the terrorist group is known to exaggerate when it comes to casualty figures, it is unknown at this time just if the statement is true or not.

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The plane reportedly came down in the mountainous Deh Yak district just 10km (6.2 miles) from a U.S. military base at around 1:15pm local time.

The area where the plane crashed is controlled by the Taliban, which made it difficult for Afghan forces to reach the crash site earlier.

The U.S. Air Force has yet to officially commented on this situation.

“We are aware of the reports and are investigating,” an official with the U.S. Defense Department told Military Times. “At this point, we cannot confirm it is a DOD [Department of Defense] asset.”

Ghazni police commander Ahmed Khalid Wardak told the BBC that there is currently no information available about casualties, as it is unknown just how many people were onboard the plane at the time of the crash.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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