I tend to rely on military men and women — experts on strategy and tactics — to explain certain matters to me.
So, when I hear from the likes of a retired Army four-star general who says the president’s deployment of thousands of troops to the southern border is a “political stunt,” I am inclined to accept that view.
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a Vietnam War combat veteran, the former head of the Southern Command and an officer with command experience during the Persian Gulf War, has called Trump’s effort to stop a so-called human “caravan” such a stunt.
The president has sent troops to the border that now outnumber the troop levels we have in Iraq and Afghanistan. For what purpose?
He says the “caravan” is marching to our southern border full of criminals, “young men” intent on doing harm and “Middle Easterners” who, according to Donald Trump, are international terrorists.
McCaffrey, who says he knows Latin America well, disputes the makeup of those who are heading this way. He says they are fleeing countries that are corrupt, crime-ridden, poverty-stricken. They plan to seek asylum. They are refugees from oppression.
They are not “invaders.” Yet the president calls this an “invasion” of our sovereign territory. By whom? Families seeking refuge from lives of misery.
The caravan became a key campaign issue prior to the midterm election. The president sought to frighten enough Americans to keep Congress in the hands of Republicans. He said Democrats favor “open borders,” are soft on crime; he added that Republicans plan to enforce border security and crack down on criminal seeking to bust into the country illegally.
The election is over and — wouldn’t you know it? — the “caravan” rhetoric has been tamped down. Imagine that.
However, it’s still out there. Donald Trump has called in the military. He intends to order the “patriots” patrolling the border to stop the invasion.
Ridiculous. It’s all a stunt, man!