Following his pathetic and disturbing remarks where he blamed the violence committed by neo-Nazi, white supremacist, racist followers of David Duke, on “many sides”, Donald Trump was met with immediate blowback from much of the media and many in Congress. The first crack in the dam was the resignation by the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. At first Trump tried to dismiss Ken Frazier’s defection:
For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
By Wednesday, when the trickle had become a stream of resignations from Trump’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, Trump tried to make it appear that this was his decision:
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
What he failed to disclose, although the information quickly became public, was that the Strategy and Policy Forum had decided via teleconference earlier that day to disband.
These events were the direct result of Trump’s attempt to renounce is obviously insincere comments made under duress that “condemned” the villains in Charlottesville He undid all the support he gained briefly when he held an impromptu press conference on Tuesday and revealed his true feelings. That there was violence on “both sides” and there were “good people” who marched with Nazi sympathizers.
Some of the most significant voices raised were those of the heads of all the military branches of the United States on Wednesday in a universal condemnation of the Commander-in-Chief’s remarks. See the following:
The chief naval officer
— Adm. John Richardson (@CNORichardson) August 13, 2017
He was followed by the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps:
No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017
Next the Chief of Staff of the United States Army:
The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It's against our Values and everything we've stood for since 1775.
— GEN Mark A. Milley (@ArmyChiefStaff) August 16, 2017
Then the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force:
— Gen. Dave Goldfein (@GenDaveGoldfein) August 16, 2017
General Goldfein was joined by the chief of the National Guard and fellow Air Force General Joseph Lengyal who said they “stand together” with their fellow officers according to an article published by Stars and Stripes.
If there is anyone who can remember such a stunning rebuke by the chief officers of each and every branch of the United States Armed Forces, please let me know. Nothing on this scale ever happened during my lifetime, which included the war in Vietnam. While not naming the President directly, their message and the timing of it, left no doubt to whom they were referring.
Donald Trump loves to talk about “his” generals. But these gallant men took an oath to defend the Constitution, not the President, from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. They have clearly shown that they are America’s generals, not Donald Trump’s.