I have not been a prolific writer for the last few years, so I probably need to reintroduce myself. I served in the Army Reserve for 10 years and spent more than two years overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and later Operation New Dawn. I fought for what I believed in and have no regrets, but being in war means seeing things you cannot un-see and doing things that you cannot forget. If you have never been there, just accept that you can perhaps sympathize, but you cannot truly understand. Thank God you do not have to.
While in Iraq, I suffered a traumatic brain injury in a mortar attack and have had a long road of therapy and life reordering to get back to functional. Ironically, my first blog post was at Redstate, in the middle of a mortar attack, responding to those in the democratic party who denigrated our mission for political gain. Although I am now medically retired, I am no less a Soldier. My oath never expired, and I am still honor bound to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. I have traded in my M16 for a keyboard, but the battle continues.
In the beginning of this political season I was ambivalent about Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is easy to support as a Constitutional conservative but most of the candidates were at least acceptable. Things about Donald were troubling, and whether he was a conservative at all became more and more doubtful. The SC debate brought things to a head. That is when we heard a Republican candidate for President urinate on my mission in Iraq and on the graves of those who gave their all for it. Disagreeing about the strategy or even the wisdom of Iraq is fine by me, parroting the “Bush lied, People died” rhetoric of Code Pink and Harry Reid is not. That is when I decided I could not support Donald Trump.
Tonight, in the Detroit debate, Donald Trump went further. He doubled down on his claim that American Soldiers should be in the business of assassinating innocent women and children because of the actions of their husbands/fathers. This is wrong. This is a war crime. This is an illegal order. When he was told U.S. troops do not obey orders to commit war crimes, he responded in typical Trump fashion. “I know leadership, I tell them to do it and they will do it. I’m a leader.”
This is wrong. This is a war crime. This is an illegal order.
This is not just a bad idea. This is not just embarrassingly stupid. This is even further trashing of the honor and dignity of the members of the world’s best military. No Soldier I trained would ever obey that order. Even worse is to contemplate the soul destroying reality for any that did obey it. Killing a combatant in defense of yourself and your battle buddies is right and just, but it never leaves you. In the back of your mind is always the realization that you took a human life, no matter how justified. How could anyone contemplate putting Soldiers in the position to live the rest of their lives seeing the faces of dead innocent children in their dreams every night?
Donald Trump cannot be the Commander in Chief of the United States Military. If nothing else convinces you to be #NeverTrump, think of the men and women who offer their lives in defense of your freedom. Think of what Trump as President means to them in light of what he said at the debate.
In case I was not clear: American Soldiers as a group will NOT obey illegal, unconstitutional orders to commit war crimes. They will not, and anyone who would consider asking them to should shut up and go home. Anyone who would consider that does not deserve the votes of the Republican party or of the American people.