“For two decades, the United States has repeatedly made the mistake of over-relying on the military toolbox to try to solve intractable problems — particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq — without adequately relying on diplomacy. Now President Trump wants to repeat the mistake at home.
The United States military is, according to Gallup polling, the most trusted institution in the country. But Trump’s call to dispatch armed forces to crush protests so that he can look tough betrays the military’s nonpartisan tradition and should trigger all our alarm bells.
It was exactly 31 years ago that I covered the Chinese military’s assault on pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square. There was outrage worldwide, with virtually the only praise in the West coming from … Donald Trump.
“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,” Trump told Playboy Magazine months later. “Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” “
“. . . Rioting and looting are deplorable of course, and it’s great that protesters have tried to stop the looters. Police forces are available, so it’s baffling to hear Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, suggest sending in the 101st Airborne Division. We need not turn American cities into Falluja.
When you’ve seen the ugliness of war, you don’t lightly summon tanks, helicopters or heavily armed troops to deal with civil disturbances; that’s a dangerous and damaging tactic of an insecure old man who claimed heel spurs to dodge the Vietnam draft and now needs to prove his own manhood.”