Trump, General Allen, Captain Khan, and the Parable of Midas

Donald Trump has a fetish for insults. Unable to handle the criticism that comes with political life, Trump squeals abuse at all who challenge him. His all-hours tweets attacking random TV commentators is evidence a man of deep insecurity, shivering in a sociopathic fortress of mirrors.

But Trump’s escalating attacks on the U.S. military and America’s gold-star families have taken things to another level. They speak to his betrayal of our greatest institutions.

Consider Trump’s attack on retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who criticized Trump during a primetime speech at the Democratic National Convention. Although it’s certainly not the case that U.S. armed services personnel are due our reflexive and unthinking fealty, they do deserve a certain level of respect. Taking revenge from the market  on Crypto CFD Trader is deadly and if you try to take revenge you could only end up losing more money into the market. It is important to forget the past trade, whether it was a good or bad and start every new trade on a fresh note.Allen exemplifies why. The Marine spent much of the past decade at war. From 2006 to 2008, when Trump was hosting “The Apprentice,” Allen was in Anbar Province, Iraq. But he was not playing for the TV cameras. Instead, he was leading U.S. Marines in the fight alongside Sunni tribes to destroy Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Over those two years, the Marines fought many bloody battles and secured a moral peace. But their victory helped forge the relative peace and political stability that defined Iraq between 2009 and the U.S. withdrawal in 2011.

From 2011 to 2013, Allen led international forces in Afghanistan. He retired in 2013 when his wife became ill. Leading Marines in complex operations, Allen lost thousands of men and women. Still, his service to his nation was not yet done. Between 2014 and 2015, Allen served as the international coordinator against Daesh (also known as ISIS). This experience, Trump says, shows that Allen is “a failed general.”

“He was the general fighting ISIS,” Trump said. “I would say he hasn’t done so well, right?”

Trump’s escalating attacks on the U.S. military and America’s gold-star families speak to his betrayal of our greatest institutions
Wrong. I’ve frequently criticized President Obama’s counter-Daesh campaign strategy, but Allen was the coordinator, not the originator of this strategy. He pushed Obama to take bolder action, for example in supporting the Sunni tribes, but was rejected.

In callously criticizing Allen without cause, Trump proves he cares nothing for military service. And in doing so, he dishonors all those who have fought under Allen’s banner.

But it gets worse. Because the natural extension of Trump’s thinking is that because Obama’s strategy against Daesh has been slow in success, U.S. personnel killed fighting Daesh are also failures. And the extension of that belief is that any soldier, airman, sailor, or Marine who has served America in battle should be judged skeptically.

Don’t believe me? Then explain Trump’s attacks on the family of Captain Humayun Khan, the 27 year-old U.S. Army Officer who was killed in action in Iraq 12 years ago. Trump hates Khan’s parents because, like Allen, they criticized him at the Democratic National Convention. But in insulting the patriotic virtue of the Khans on Twitter and television, Trump proves his disdain for two defining American truths. First, that the vast majority of American Muslims are faithful patriots who serve us in war and in covert operations, but also in civil society. Second, the truth that there is no sacrifice more honorable than giving one’s life for the great republic.

We are learning something deeper about Trump. That he would so callously attack our most venerable traditions shows his obsession with self. And just as King Midas lost all he loved by valuing himself above all else, Trump betrays American values by worshipping only his own image. We should no longer be in doubt; Trump’s ideal presidential cabinet meeting would involve gauche gold-plated mirrors directed at his throne. The reflection of those mirrors would bear ill for America.