By Nida Khan
Donald J. Trump isn’t acting on his own. Following his ‘fire and fury’ threats to North Korea, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed reporters on Wednesday and said in part: “Gen. Kelly and others on the NSC team were well aware of the tone of the statement of the President prior to delivery. The words were his own. The tone and strength of the message were discussed beforehand.” I for one am not surprised.
If we were to go by earlier news reports, political commentary and pundit insight, Gen. John Kelly was the greatest thing to happen to the White House since Election Day. He would reign in the chaos, get Trump to stop tweeting and acting out, bring order and lay down the law. While the current White House clearly needs some structure, blindly supporting yet another general in the executive branch is not the answer. In the midst of nonstop breaking news and self-inflicted antics, this White House has somehow made people from all ends of the political spectrum forget that further militarization of the West Wing should make us all pause – if not, object.
“What I do is, I authorize my military,” said Trump after the U.S. dropped the ‘mother of all bombs’ (MOAB) in Afghanistan earlier this year. He went on to say that he’s given the military “total authorization”. Hardly anyone blinked. Gen. Kelly serving as Chief of Staff to this President is just the latest empowerment of the military industrial complex into our civilian government. Kelly joins national security adviser Lt. General H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense ‘mad dog’ Mattis (a retired Marine general) and Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Marine general. The last time we saw this many generals in the cabinet was probably right after World War II.
Prior to becoming the ‘savior’ of a dysfunctional White House, Kelly had a brief stint as Secretary of Homeland Security (thanks to Trump as well). Kelly has not only worked to carry out Trump’s desire to tighten visa screenings and implement tougher deportation policies, but he has been an open supporter of the travel ban (aka Muslim ban), calling it “lawful and constitutional”. But in order to fully understand Kelly and what his military background truly means for this nation (and the world for that matter), those of us who object to draconian measures, nativism, torture of prisoners and endless war must speak out.
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Source: The Huffington Post