Tag Archives: WWI

What if Obama had done any of this?

“We should be intellectually honest here at this table that if President Obama had missed Veterans Day or missed the Armistice ceremony in France for the 100th anniversary of World War I, my head would have exploded right here on this table in front of all of you.”

So said Meghan McCain, daughter of the late, great Republican U.S. senator, John McCain, and a co-host of the TV show “The View.”

I believe she speaks for a lot of Americans who are dismayed, disgusted and so very disappointed in recent actions and remarks by Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

So many on the right and the far right have been strangely silent regarding the president’s recent action — or inaction — in Europe. He declined to attend a ceremony in France honoring the Americans who fell during World War I, then skipped Veterans Day services at Arlington National Cemetery.

Now, to his credit, the president did express some regret at failing to show for the Arlington cemetery event. That doesn’t excuse what he declined to do in the moment.

Couple all of that with what he has said in recent days about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the disparaging he has leveled at the Navy admiral, William McRaven, who coordinated the May 2011 assault and you have even more reason for “heads to explode.”

They aren’t. Except for Meghan McCain, a self-described political conservative.

Yes, just try to imagine the reaction had all of this come from a liberal Democrat. It is pointless to suggest how progressives, such as yours truly, would react had any of this occurred on Barack Obama’s watch. Thankfully, I don’t recall it ever happening prior to Donald Trump becoming president.

I do believe Meghan McCain’s assertion about her own noggin “exploding” on national TV.

POTUS lashes out, blames Secret Service for WWI no-show

I will not spend a lot of space, time and energy on this one.

Donald J. Trump is now griping that the Secret Service prevented him Saturday from attending an event in France commemorating the 100th anniversary since the end of World War I. It was raining and according to the president, the Secret Service determined it was too risky to fly a helicopter from Paris to the cemetery event.

The cemetery is where American servicemen are buried. It is hallowed ground. It is sacred to the Marine Corps, which engaged in the Battle of Belleau Wood.

The president is the commander in chief. The Secret Service works for him, not the other way around. Trump said he sought to drive to the cemetery, but the Secret Service said “no.” Too much traffic. Too many hassles along the way, Trump said in a tweet.

I state once again, POTUS is the boss. He’s the man. If he truly wanted to be there, he could have been driven there. He didn’t want to go. He embarrassed himself, the presidency and the country he was elected to lead .

Again!

There. I’m done with this one. Time to move on.

POTUS’s patriotism at issue?

I guess I’m missing something here.

Barack Obama’s critics were hair-trigger quick to criticize the president as “unpatriotic,” concocting all kinds of reasons to lay that unfair criticism on him.

So, his successor, Donald J. Trump, goes to Europe to commemorate the 100th year since the end of World War I. What does he (not) do? He declines to attend a ceremony at an American cemetery outside of Paris, citing inclement weather; dozens of other heads of state attended the ceremony.

The president then attends another ceremony the next day before coming home.

Then he declines to visit Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, the day the government recognizes as Veterans Day. Neither did the vice president.

And yet … the critics who blasted President Obama continually over his alleged lack of love of country have been quiet about Donald Trump’s absence at two places honoring our fallen warriors.

Hmm. Hypocrisy, anyone?

Feeling sorry for John Kelly, except …

Donald Trump chose to skip a profoundly significant ceremony this past weekend at an American cemetery in France to commemorate a World War I battle.

He sent White House chief of staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to stand in the rain, something the president declined to do.

The event was part of a weekend commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Trump managed to bungle and blunder his way through the weekend, isolating himself and the nation he leads from key allies.

But, back to the point.

The WWI battle took place in Belleau Wood, an event that is sacred in the minds of U.S. Marines. It was the first fight that sent Marines to fight a foreign enemy force. They fought valiantly and brilliantly against the German forces at Belleau Wood. The cemetery where the Marines are buried is sacred ground anyway, but it especially so to Marines.

Kelly is a retired Marine general; Joseph Dunford is an active-duty Marine general. I am wondering how these two men must have felt when they got word that the commander in chief had declined to attend the event because of reported “logistical” concerns created by the weather. The White House cooked up some pretext about Marine One, the presidential helicopter, being unable to fly in rainy conditions. The president could have driven to the ceremony. He chose to send Kelly and Dunford instead.

I would feel sympathy for Kelly in particular, except that he chose to sign on as chief of staff presumably knowing he would be working for someone who is prone to toss traditional customs aside. The president managed to disparage the Marine Corps with his no-show at a solemn event.

He also continues to shred the reputation of his chief of staff.

POTUS gets it back, and then some

Donald Trump has made incessant and often effective use of Twitter during his presidency.

So, when he blunders and stumbles as he did on his latest trip abroad by declining to attend a ceremony honoring American soldiers who fell during World War I, he can expect the Twitter-verse to erupt with criticism.

And it has. Bigly.

Trump passed on attending a ceremony at an American cemetery because of rain. White House officials said the weather posed “logistical” problems for the president. Hey, he could’ve ridden in a car from Paris to the site of the ceremony. This came after he criticized French President Emmanuel Macron before he exited Air Force One and before he declined to arrive in Paris along with other heads of state; he had to arrive all alone, calling attention to — who else? — himself!

But my point here is that the same Twitter tool he uses with such effectiveness is now being used against him. The critics’ results have yet to be determined. I just don’t want to hear any yapping from POTUS about alleged cruel and unfair treatment he’s getting from his fellow Twitter travelers.

POTUS couldn’t attend ceremony honoring WWI fallen?

Let me understand this fully.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, flies to France to honor the fallen soldiers while commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.

Then the rain fell. The president then decided that he couldn’t attend the ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial near Paris because of “inclement weather.” He sent White House chief of staff John Kelly and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to represent the United States.

Oh, then there’s this. France’s president attended the ceremony honoring the American soldiers who fell. So did the German chancellor and the prime minister of Canada. Other heads of state and government attended as well.

But … not the president of the United States. He couldn’t attend a solemn ceremony at the American cemetery where our nation’s fighting men are buried after enduring far worse than most of us can even fathom. How might they think of a president unwilling or unable to endure some rainfall at their gravesites to pray for their souls and to thank them for their sacrifice?

Critics cut loose on POTUS

I’ll conclude with this remark offered by the grandson of the legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Nicholas Soames, a member of the British Parliament: “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate Donald Trump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen.”

Enough said.

Military taking a big bite out of its own hand

Donald Trump must really mean it when he implies that America should become an immigrant-unfriendly place.

The New York Times has published a story that tells of how the U.S. Army is ordering an increasing number of legal immigrants out of the military service. Why? According to one of them — an immigrant from China, with a business degree, a wife and a small child — they are deemed “unsuitable.”

As the Times noted in its story, the Army is booting out an increasing number of immigrants even though it cannot meet its recruitment goals for 2018.

The program, adopted during the Bush 43 administration, is designed to allow legal immigrants a fast track to citizenship. The Trump administration seems to see little value in the program.

What a disgraceful display of un-American treatment of men and women who come here to this country on their volition and want to serve in our military.

The irony is so rich you can taste it, given that the commander in chief sought to avoid military service during the Vietnam War by obtaining a series of student and medical deferments.

Take a look at the NY Times story here.

I am reminded of a time when this country granted automatic citizenship to immigrants who enlisted in the armed forces. How do I know that? My own grandfather, George Filipu, became an instantaneous American by enlisting in the Army in 1918. He wanted to fight in World War I. But then the war ended in November of that year. He didn’t get into the fight — but he retained his U.S. citizenship.

That’s what service and commitment to our country is all about.

The young man who might now be deported to China — after swearing an oath to “protect and defend the U.S. Constitution — now might be punished in his home country simply by enlisting in a foreign military organization.

That’s how you “put America first”? I don’t think so.