Unless you live under the rule of a tinpot dictator, and I am not saying we don’t, there are specific reasons for having a damn big army and none of them involve controlling the behavior of our own people. Basically, it’s for keeping other nations with damn big armies from making assumptions that might carry them to our shores where they would rape and pillage and grab our stuff. It’s always been this way. It was why Rome was so successful back when Rome was so successful. It had a vast and well led army. You don’t ever unleash an army so powerful on its own people, lest they turn their backs on you and tarnish the bronze likeness you planned to install someplace in honor of YOU!
It is mystifying to me why this is not clearly understood by everyone in the White House. But it is clearly not. Here we have an apology from Gen. Mark Milley who regrets that he was marching across from the White House with our own tin pot dictator during the demonstrations last week. Mistakes were made. Shame on you. The tin pot dictator is our fault, so shame on us!
He didn’t know what was going to happen, but basically he, cops, soldiers whatever you want to call them, blasted the bejaysus out of peaceful protesters with whatever they used (but don’t call it tear gas because some troop followers in the White House will argue that point.) Anyhow, these were peaceful people and President Trump, the Attorney General, Gen. Milley and a host of others forced them out of the way so Trump could troop on over to St. John’s and hold up a bible.
If you don’t know about this already, you are living under a rock.
Long story short, the public response to THAT behavior was so strong that, lickety-split, the 82nd Airborne was told to stand down and the world’s most hastily assembled collection of summertime soldiers got back on their busses and headed back home, wherever that might have been. Best we can tell, no one got killed in that one. As best we can tell. Some, sadly, could succumb to the virus we have all been battling but that will happen elsewhere and later.
In the wake of those bad choices, the reputation of the National Guard, which has always been heroic in so many disasters in American life, has been shattered, people are seriously arguing we shouldn’t fund police departments anymore, one old guy in Buffalo deserves the nation’s apology and its prayers for being pushed down hard by the cops and Black Lives Matter has gone from being a “what the hell does that mean, don’t all lives matter?” (A standard white response) to a genuine force for goodness and light.
It could be that we will reap racial justice from that week of violence, and that would be quite a blessing for a nation that has turned its back on blacks since Reconstruction. We certainly don’t deserve it, but we surely do need it.
This is generally the point at which I would segue to a snotty little paragraph on President Trump, but he has become his own snotty little paragraph without any help from me. What he had to say in his twitter feed about that old protester in Buffalo was unconscionable. Just because he has now lured an even shittier news source onto the scene doesn’t mean we all have to pay attention to it.
I suspect we will all be hearing loads about defunding police, punishing them, pushing them around, calming them down and so on. If they have any sense, they will all say they were just following orders and put the blame where it actually belongs, on the people who put them in the streets to try to control those First Amendment folks who just wanted to note their displeasure about how the government was reacting to a police murder.
Black Lives Matter.
More than ever.